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Philadelphia Phillies Split Series with Braves, Magic Number Remains 8

The Philadelphia Phillies split the series with the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

"It's been a really crazy year so far, right?" Kyle Schwarber said as he addressed the Philadelphia faithful on Fan Appreciation Day on Sunday. "Stay with us and we'll see where this takes us. Thank you."

Following a disappointing showing on Saturday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies fans would have to do just that in the final home game of the 2022 MLB season: stay with their team. 

Kyle Gibson got the start for the Phillies, and he began testing the fans' patience as early as the first inning. He walked Michael Harris II, who then stole second base, and scored on a Travis d'Arnaud double. 

After a day off on Saturday, Matt Olson stepped to the plate and knocked another run home with his 43rd double of the year. That left the Phillies in a 2-0 hole heading into their half of the first inning.

Schwarber came through on his pledge to the fans to stick with them by launching his 41st home run of the season off of Atlanta starter Charlie Morton. The ball bounced off the foul pole into foul territory, but was eventually called fair. This quickly cut the Phillies' deficit to one run.

Kyle Schwarber rounds the bases after hitting his first home run of the game.

Kyle Schwarber rounds the bases after hitting his first home run of the game.

Rhys Hoskins continued his budding hot streak by doubling to center field in his first at-bat. A Bryce Harper walk put runners on first and second, and Alec Bohm singled home Hoskins to tie the game up at two.

Jean Segura gave the Phillies the lead on a RBI groundout that scored Harper. Although things started out bleak, Philadelphia fought their way back and escaped the first inning with a 3-2 lead.

Gibson would promptly surrender that lead, however, on a Dansby Swanson RBI single that plated Eddie Rosario. The game was tied.

Schwarber continued his big day in the third inning, though, belting his 42nd long ball of the year and second on the day to once again give the Phillies the lead.

Despite fanning nine batters, Gibson extended his September struggles, this time allowing a Swanson two-run homer to hand the lead back to the Braves. Overall, he allowed five runs on seven hits through five innings. Not great.

Philadelphia would need to play catch-up again, but they were up to the task. Schwarber led off the fifth inning with a walk, followed by Hoskins' second double of the game to put runners on second and third with nobody out. A Harper sacrifice fly allowed Schwarber to score to tie the game.

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Bohm's second RBI of the game came on a sac fly that once again gave the Phillies the lead, this time with Hoskins sliding into home plate just in time to make it a 6-5 ballgame.

That's when the rain started to fall. Hard. The umpires tried their best to make it through the end of the fifth, but called the game in the middle of Brandon Marsh's at-bat. 

When the game resumed, Marsh lined the first pitch he saw out to center field for what would've been a RBI double, but Segura was tagged out trying to score from first base. 

Nick Nelson took over for Gibson following the delay, and pitched a clean sixth inning. In the seventh, Jose Alvarado and Dylan Lee each struck out the side in their halves of the inning.

David Robertson was brought on for the eighth in a one-run game. He picked up the first two outs, but then ran into some trouble when he walked Williams Contreras and Rosario doubled. Ronald Acuña Jr., who has been absent from the lineup for the first three games of the series, came on as a pinch-hitter, but was intentionally walked. Robertson would instead face Robbie Grossman with two outs, but a wild pitch scored Contreras from third. The game was now tied up at six.

The Phillies were unable to capitalize in the bottom half of the eighth, which gave way to Seranthony Domínguez in the ninth. He put his recent troubles behind him and tossed a solid frame of work.

Although a walk-off win on Fan Appreciation Day would have been nice, it wasn't in the cards for Philadelphia as Kenley Jansen sent the game to extra innings. It was then time for high-leverage, big-game reliever Zach Eflin to take the hill. Eflin produced yet another impressive outing out of the bullpen, holding the Braves to no runs in the top of the tenth inning.

Unable to score in their half of the tenth, the Phillies sent Andrew Bellatti to the bump for 11th, where the Braves eventually took a 7-6 lead on an Acuña Jr. RBI single. The bleeding didn't stop there, though, as Harris II singled home another run to make it 8-6.

Down to their last strike, J.T. Realmuto came through and brought home a run to make it 8-7, but they would be unable to complete the comeback. The Phillies lost, and their magic number is eight.

After an off day on Monday, they'll embark on their final road trip of the 2022 season, beginning with a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

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