Garcia homers twice, Braves extend streak with comeback win

PHILADELPHIA – The Braves got two home runs and three RBIs Saturday night from Adonis Garcia, and even if they didn’t get a lot from the rest of their hot-hitting lineup, they got enough.

Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia follows through on one of his two home runs in Saturday's win at Philadelphia. (AP photo)

Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia follows through on one of his two home runs in Saturday’s win at Philadelphia. (AP photo)

After the Phillies issued an intentional walk to Nick Markakis to load the bases with one out in the 10th inning, the Braves got a fielder’s choice grounder from Tyler Flowers to drive in one run and a ground out from Jace Peterson to bring in another for a 6-4 win against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

The Braves extended their winning streak to five games, and it was their lowest offensive output in that stretch that’s seen them outscore opponents 38-18. They’ve won nine of the past 13 games while averaging just over six runs, and since trading for Matt Kemp the Braves are 16-15 with 163 runs scored – second-most in the NL in that period.

“I feel like the team’s just clicking,” Garcia said through a translator. ” I feed off that as well. We’re just all playing well and doing all the little things right now. It’s good to see that, to see us execute.”

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Left-hander Jed Bradley, a former Georgia Tech standout, won his major league debut after pitching a perfect ninth inning with the score tied, 4-4. He struck out pinch-hitter Tyler Goeddel, induced a ground out from Freddy Galvis (after a towering fly ball sailed just outside the left-field foul pole) and got Tommy Joseph on a fly out to end the inning.

“I might have had a minor coronary,” Bradley said, smiling as he recalled watching Galvis’ long foul ball. “I was yelling at the baseball the whole time. I was just really glad it hooked foul.”

Garcia also scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning after leading off with a walk against Edubray Ramos. Freddie Freeman followed with a single, and one out later the Phillies walked Markakis with first base open.

Flowers hit a squib grounder up the first-base line that looked like it might go foul, but Ryan Howard fielded it and threw to the plate too late as Garcia raced in from third base. Peterson then grounded to Howard’s right and the aging first baseman fielded it while getting tangled up with Flowers. Howard’s only play was to first and another run scored.

“That was a really good jump by Adonis,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said of the winning run, “because in that situation you’re kind of worried about getting doubled off. Really didn’t expect that (squib) from Tyler, the way he’s been swinging the bat. Like I say that was a great ready by (Garcia). We’ll take them any way we can get them.”

Rookie Mauricio Cabrera pitched a perfect 10th inning for his fourth save, getting the save in a game won by Bradley, his teammate at Double-A Mississippi before Cabrera was called to the majors in late June.

“I was pumped to see his 102-mile-per-hour fastball come in to save it for me,” Bradley said.

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Garcia had solo homers in the first and sixth innings off right-hander Vince Velasquez and has 13 homers this season and 23 homers in 651 plate appearances over his first two seasons. He also had and a game-tying RBI groundout in the eighth inning.

The third baseman has five consecutive multi-hit games and is making a case to keep a starting job in 2017: He’s hit .299 with 20 doubles, 12 homers and 40 RBIs in his past 70 games.

Braves rookie John Gant, making his first major league start in more than two months, retired eight of the first nine batters before Cesar Hernandez’s two-out homer in the third tied the score, 1-all. Gant hit the next batter with a pitch, then gave up a single and a walk to load the bases before Cameron Rupp’s two-run double.

Gant was charged with five hits, four runs (three earned) and one walk with six strikeouts in five innings. It was his first start since June 27, when he strained his left oblique pitching against Cleveland and went on the DL for nearly eight weeks.

After the Phillies’ three-run third inning, the Braves got a run in the fourth when Matt Kemp doubled, advanced on a passed ball and scored on Nick Markakis’ sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 3-2. The Phillies got a run in the fifth after Aaron Altherr reached on an error by Dansby Swanson, the shortstop’s fourth in 13 games in the field.

Garcia’s one-out home run in the sixth inning gave him his second career two-homer game, the other against the Cardinals on the final day of the 2015 season.

The Braves tied the score in the eighth against reliever Hector Neris after a leadoff walk by Chase D’Arnaud and a double by Ender Inciarte, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games. With runners on second and third, Garcia’s groundout scored d’Arnaud.

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