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) Jeanmar Gomez has strayed from the heavy metal tunes and thunderous rock songs that so many closers use to signal their entrance in the ninth inning.

He jogs out in the ninth inning to a religious ballad called ''El Gran Yo Soy,'' as unlikely a pick for a closer as any preseason prognosticator who had Philadelphia in the early-season hunt for first in the NL East.

Gomez put the final touch on Jerad Eickhoff's finest outing of the season to help the Phillies thwart a three-game sweep and beat the Atlanta Braves 5-0 on Sunday.

A 99-loss team a year ago, the Phillies hit the road this week to find out if they can sustain their solid start.

''We've got a happy flight going here rolling into Detroit,'' Eickhoff said.

Philadelphia 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.

''It's nice to end the homestand with a win and have some confidence headed into the road trip,'' Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

They needed the boost, especially against wasting two games against the NL-league worst Braves.

Eickhoff (2-6) pitched five-hit ball over seven innings and won for the first time since April 13, stopping a streak of five straight losses. He 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.

''I think over the course of the season, you tend to forget to do things you've always done,'' he said. ''I drifted away from things I did last year.''

Cameron Rupp homered for the Phillies, and Maikel Franco had two RBIs. Hector Neris worked a scoreless eighth, and Gomez, who has 16 saves this season, tossed a perfect ninth.

Atlanta dropped to a big league-worst 12-31.

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,'' Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. ''They come here and try to force the issue a little bit, make pitches, do things.''

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.

''We showed a lot of energy,'' Franco said. ''Everybody did something for the team.''

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

Tommy 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. Joseph will start at first in Detroit and Howard will serve as the DH.

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

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