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Braves batter Michael Mercado as Reynaldo Lopez shuts out Phillies

By Bill Trocchi

ATLANTA — Michael Mercado’s second start for the Philadelphia Phillies didn’t go nearly as well as his first Major League start.

Reynaldo Lopez threw six strong innings and the Atlanta Braves hit four homers, three off the Phils’ rookie right-hander, in a 6-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

López (7-2) lowered his league-leading ERA to 1.71, allowing just two hits and walking three with six strikeouts.

“He was really good against a really good lineup,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Adam Duvall, Jarred Kelenic and Matt Olson all homered in a five-run second inning off Mercado, and Eli White added a solo homer in the sixth inning.

“(The early lead) It allows me the opportunity to not be so fine,” López said through an interpreter. “Once I got that five-run lead, I told myself I would be attacking the zone and be aggressive.”

Mercado (1-1), making just his second career start, didn’t get out of the second inning, lasting just 1 2/3 innings and allowing five runs, five hits and three walks. In his first start, on July 2 against the Cubs, Mercado went five innings, allowing two hits and one run in earning the win.

Kelenic was 1-for-3 with three RBIs and Duval was 3-for-4 with a double and a single to go along with his home run. White, who entered the game 0-for-7 since being called up from Triple-A Gwinnett, was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

The Braves have taken two of three in the first two series of the season between the NL East rivals. The teams have seven regular-season games to play. The Phillies have eliminated the Braves in the playoffs the past two postseasons.

“It definitely feels good,” López said. “Even though I wasn’t part of the team last year, I watched the postseason. It feels good to win the two series so far. I feel like that is the expectation. If we have a rematch, we need to take that series as well.”

Phillies reliever Tyler Phillips made his big league debut and allowed one run in four innings. He struck out the first four Braves he faced and allowed the home run to White. Phillips allowed one run and three hits while striking out seven.

The Braves loaded the bases on three walks in the first inning, but did not score. That changed in the second when Duvall led off with a home run to left field. After singles by Orlando Arcia and White, Kelenic blasted a three-run shot 427 feet to make it 4-0. Olson added a solo home run later in the inning.

Pierce Johnson hit Trea Turner in the helmet with a curveball in the eighth inning, but Turner stayed in the game.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: DH Kyle Schwarber (groin) and 1B Bryce Harper (hamstring) ran the bases at 100 percent prior to the game. Harper also took ground balls at first base. Schwarber remains on track to play Tuesday against the Dodgers, and Harper is also a possibility to return Tuesday as well.

UP NEXT

Phillies: Right-hander Zack Wheeler (9-4, 2.74) will face Dodgers right-hander Bobby Miller (1-1, 6.12) in the opener of a three-game series of division leaders in Philadelphia on Tuesday.


Source: Berkshire mont

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