Phillies use overturned third out on replay to rally past Braves 5-4

Philadelphia Phillies’ Alec Bohm, right, is doused by teammates Brandon Marsh, left, and Bryson Stott during an interview after the team’s baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

By DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer

Thanks to a second look on replay, the Phillies got a second shot at a rally and averted a sweep against the NL East champs.

Trea Turner capitalized with a tying hit after a third out that was overturned on replay and Alec Bohm followed with a two-run single in a three-run seventh inning to rally the Philadelphia Phillies over the Atlanta Braves 5-4 on Sunday.

“You get some luck like that, kind of get the momentum back, and we got our guys going in the back end of the bullpen with a lead,” Bohm said, “and you kind of smell the win.”

The Phillie Phanatic, with bunny ears on Easter, performs prior to a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Philadelphia.AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

The win settled some nerves among the grumbling sports faithful in Philly after Atlanta decisively won the first two games.

Atlanta was on course for a three-game sweep until a replay review in the seventh denied the Braves a third out.

Leading 3-2 behind a strong outing from Chris Sale in his Braves’ debut, reliever Aaron Bummer (0-1) seemingly got Johan Rojas to ground into an inning-ending double play.

But a second look showed Rojas was safe and overturned the call by first base umpire Clint Vondrak as the third straight sellout crowd roared in approval.

Kyle Schwarber, who opened the game with his 32nd career leadoff homer, singled to put two runners on base. Turner — who also stole his 36th straight base — punched the tying single to right and Bohm followed with a two-RBI single that diving left fielder Adam Duvall could not snag, giving the Phillies a 5-3 lead.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber is greeted in the dugout after his solo home run off Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Chris Sale during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Philadelphia.AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

“Rojas beating the ball out was the biggest part of the game, really,” manager Rob Thomson said.

Gregory Soto’s first pitch in the eighth retired Matt Olson on a flyout and left the tying run on third after the Braves closed within a run.

José Alvarado, who allowed five runs and took the loss on opening day, worked the ninth for the save.

Ranger Suárez and five relievers held the Braves to just seven hits after they put 32 hits, 10 doubles and 14 extra-base hits in the first two games. Matt Strahm (1-0) tossed a scoreless seventh for the win.

The fortuitous circumstances that sparked the Phillies’ first win were enough to make them exhale. So was the news that slugging first baseman Bryce Harper was seemingly fine a day after a hard tumble over a railing in foul territory. Harper did get the day off against a tough lefty in Sale.

“I thought we put together pretty good AB’s all day long,” Harper said. “Good win.”

Sale allowed two runs, five hits and struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings in his first start since an offseason trade with Boston. If he can stay healthy, Sale should prove a potent addition to Atlanta’s rotation.

Atlanta took a gamble on the lefty given Sale’s injury-filled career. He has made just 31 starts over the last four seasons in Boston, including 20 last season when he went 6-5 with a 4.30 ERA in 102 2/3 innings.

Sale, who signed a $38 million, two-year deal after landing in Atlanta, joined a rotation that includes 2023 All-Stars Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder, longtime ace Max Fried and 40-year-old Charlie Morton.

Sale impressed in the fifth after he allowed only one run to score after loading the bases with no outs. He retired Schwarber on a double play and struck out Turner to end the threat and help Atlanta keep a 3-2 lead.

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suarez throws to an Atlanta Braves during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Philadelphia.AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

“I appreciate where I’m at and who I’m doing it with,” Sale said. “Let’s keep this thing rolling.”

A game after the Braves hit four homers, Ozzie Albies had a two-run shot in the first for the early lead. Adam Duvall tacked on an RBI double in the fourth that boosted the advantage to 3-1.

“It’s lot of the best players in our game on the field,” Bohm said. “They obviously kind of put it on us the first two games and we wanted to get one today.”


Philadelphia Phillies’ Jose Alvarado reacts after the team’s victory over the Atlanta Braves in a baseball game Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Atlanta continues its opening trip with three in Chicago against the White Sox. The Braves send RHP Charlie Morton (14-12, 3.64 ERA in 2023) to the mound against RHP Chris Flexen (2-8, 6.86) on Monday

The Phillies host the Reds for three games starting Monday. The Phillies send LHP Cristopher Sánchez (3-5, 3.44) to the mound against LHP Andrew Abbott (8-6, 3.87).