Fans sit before a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, May 22, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Michael Perez
May 22, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Atlanta heads home with a new manager and no longer stuck with the worst record in baseball.

Winners of two of three in Philadelphia, interim manager Brian Snitker can only hope some good times are ahead for the rebuilding Braves.

Jerad Eickhoff pitched five-hit ball over seven innings to help the Philadelphia Phillies avoid a three-game sweep and beat the Atlanta Braves 5-0 on Sunday.

''I've seen a lot of really good things in my week here that we can build upon,'' Snitker said.

Snitkert took over when Fredi Gonzalez was fired Monday night in Pittsburgh. The once-powerhouse franchise is clearly aiming toward a return to contention in 2017, when the Braves move into their new suburban home, SunTrust Park.

Eickhoff (2-6) won for the first time since April 13, stopping a streak of five straight losses.

Cameron Rupp homered for the Phillies, and Maikel Franco had two RBIs.

Philadelphia, a surprise success this season, faces a tougher schedule of opponents during an upcoming stretch that includes a series at Detroit and games against a pair of division leaders, the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals.

Atlanta dropped to 12-31, the worst record in the National League. Only Minnesota (11-32) is worse.

Casey Kelly (0-1) allowed three runs over five innings in his first start this season.

''He's probably trying too hard. I say it, too, sometimes guys come up here and then they're footloose and fancy-free down there and everything is kind of relaxed,'' Snitker said. ''They come here and try to force the issue a little bit, make pitches, do things.''

Eickhoff had been one of the few blights on a staff that has kept the Phillies within striking distance of the NL East lead. He entered 0-5 over his prior five starts with a 5.45 ERA. The righty allowed six homers over that span.

Against Atlanta, he kept the Braves in the park and off the scoreboard.

He was never in any real trouble over an efficient 85-pitch outing and even had an RBI.

Hector Neris worked a scoreless eighth, and Jeanmar Gomez a perfect ninth.

Philadelphia hit for the team cycle with its first four hits and took a 2-0 lead. Rupp poked one the opposite way that just cleared the right-field wall for his second homer this season. Tyler Goeddel also tripled in the second and scored, the first of two Philadelphia triples.

Franco had a two-RBI single in the sixth for a 4-0 lead. The Phillies, shut out 2-0 on just two hits on Saturday night, had 13 hits against Kelly and three relievers.

''They called me up to help them win games and I just didn't get it done today,'' Kelly said.

SCORELESS INNINGS

The Phillies have thrown seven shutouts this season, matching their total from last season. The Braves were shut out for the fourth time this year.

HOWARD BENCHED

Joseph earned the start at first base over Ryan Howard against the right-handed Kelly. Howard is batting .161 and in a 0-for-15 slump. He entered Sunday with the lowest batting average in the majors among qualifiers.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: OF Cody Asche (right oblique strain) had his rehab assignment transferred to Double-A Reading.

UP NEXT

Braves: Atlanta opens a three-game series at home against Milwaukee on Tuesday. The Braves send RHP Julio Teheran (1-4, 2.73 ERA) to the mound against RHP Jimmy Nelson (4-3, 3.07)

Phillies: The Phillies send RHP Vince Velasquez (5-1, 2.42) to the mound at Detroit on Monday against RHP Mike Pelfrey (0-4, 5.49).

You May Like