Altherr makes big return in first game back for Phillies
ATLANTA (AP) Aaron Altherr had the kind of night he envisioned in his return from a season-long wrist injury.
''Especially sitting around thinking about, `How's the first game going to be coming back?' " he said. ''It's definitely special.''
Altherr and Maikel Franco homered, Aaron Nola won for the first time in eight starts and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 7-5 on Thursday night.
Altherr was activated from the disabled list after missing the first 103 games of the season with a broken left wrist. He went 3 for 4 with two RBIs.
''It definitely surprised me a little bit because I hadn't been driving the ball in my rehab stints,'' Altherr said. ''I'm just glad to know I've still got it in there somewhere.''
Braves starter Matt Wisler (4-11) gave up three homers and has allowed nine homers in his past four starts, a span of 20 1/3 innings.
Interim Braves manager Brian Snitker told Wisler after the game that he would be demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Atlanta, with the worst record in the major leagues, dropped to 14-37 at home.
The Phillies took a 5-0 lead in the first on Franco's 19th homer, a three-run shot, Tommy Joseph's 14th homer and a run that scored on second baseman Jace Peterson's fielding error.
Altherr's two-run shot in the fifth made it 7-0.
The Braves cut the lead to 7-3 in the bottom half of the inning on Freddie Freeman's RBI double, Adonis Garcia's RBI single and Anthony Recker's sacrifice fly.
Philadelphia closer Jeanmar Gomez earned his 27th save in 30 chances, but it was a shaky appearance. The first two batters reached. Erick Aybar grounded into a double play, but Gordon Beckham followed with an RBI single to make it 7-5.
Gomez struck out Peterson to end it with a runner on first.
Nola (6-9) gave up eight hits, three runs, three walks and struck out five in five innings. He began the game 0-5 with a 10.61 ERA in his previous seven starts before snapping a career-high, five-game losing streak.
Nola didn't exactly inspire confidence in manager Pete Mackanin.
''He's not the same guy,'' Mackanin said. ''He's just struggling with command once again. He's not dotting his fastball like he normally does. And his curveball is erratic. He needs to get back on track.''
Wisler allowed seven hits, two walks and seven runs - six earned. He struck out three.
Over his past 10 starts, Wisler is 2-6 with a 7.71 ERA and 16 homers allowed. Wisler's 11 losses are second-most in the NL behind Philadelphia's Jerad Eickhoff.
''I didn't pitch very well the last month and a half, so I definitely know I've earned the demotion,'' Wisler said. ''I know there's nothing they can do about that. It's on me. So I've got to go fight, go back down there and try to work my way back up.''
Garcia's RBI double in the sixth off David Hernandez cut the lead to 7-4.
The Phillies have won five in a row against Atlanta.
Phillies: Altherr took OF Peter Bourjos' spot on the 25-man roster. Bourjos was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right shoulder.
Braves: Snitker said RHP Arodys Vizcaino, on the disabled list with a strained oblique, is playing catch but still hasn't thrown off a mound. There is no immediate timetable for the closer's return.
Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (8-2) has faced the Braves once, giving up six hits and four runs in a no-decision on May 12.
Braves: RHP Tyrell Jenkins (0-2) struggled in his first start Sunday at Colorado, but the rookie has a 1.93 ERA in 4 2/3 innings of relief against Philadelphia.