Phillies’ Craig Kimbrel becomes 8th pitcher to reach 400 saves
ATLANTA — Craig Kimbrel became the eighth pitcher in major league history to make 400 saves, Brandon Marsh hit a two-run single in the sixth inning and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4 on Friday night .
Making his 730th career appearance, Kimbrel, 34, worked a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save in six opportunities this season. Of the previous seven relievers to reach 400 saves, only Mariano Rivera (697 games), Trevor Hoffman (706) and Kenley Jansen (778) have reached the threshold in less than 800 appearances.
Kimbrel, the 2011 NL Rookie of the Year, played his first five seasons in Atlanta, was a four-time All-Star with the Braves and still holds the franchise record with 186 saves. This is his first season with Philadelphia. In his last 14 games since April 16, Kimbrel has faced 50 batters and 26 strikeouts in 13 innings, but started the game with a 6.00 ERA.
Facing reliever Joe Jimenez (0-1) with the bases loaded in the sixth, Marsh made it 4-3 with a single to left field that scored Nick Castellanos and JT Realmuto. The Phillies scored twice in the seventh against Lucas Luetge on Trea Turner’s RBI double and Bryce Harper’s sacrifice fly.
The Braves led 3-2 in the fifth when Michael Harris II snapped a 1-for-28 drop with a two-run homer. Early in the game with .165, Harris drove an 88 mph splitter from starter Taijuan Walker (4-2) for a shot from the opposite field on the left. It was the second home run for Harris, the NL Rookie of the Year last season.
The NL-leading Braves fell to 31-20. Philadelphia, stuck in fourth place in the NL East after qualifying for the World Series last year, is 24-27. The Phillies are seven games behind Atlanta in the division standings.
After failing to capitalize in the first two innings with a runner in scoring position, the Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the third when Bryson Stott and Turner walked and Castellanos tripled the wall to right center.
Atlanta cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth. Travis d’Arnaud doubled, went third on Marcell Ozuna’s single and scored on Eddie Rosario’s sacrifice fly.
Walker allowed 10 hits and three runs in 6⅔ innings to win for the first time in four starts. He started the game 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA in seven career starts against Atlanta.
Jared Shuster, the Braves’ top prospect according to MLB.com, allowed three hits and three runs in 5⅔ innings. It was his fifth career start.