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Phillies blank Braves to wrest homefield advantage in NLDS

ATLANTA – Bryce Harper homered and seven pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout for the visiting Philadelphia Phillies, who beat the Atlanta Braves 3-0 in Game 1 of their National League Division Series on Saturday.

Game 2 of the best-of-five set is scheduled for Monday night in Atlanta.

Bryson Stott had an RBI single in the fourth inning. Harper homered in the sixth for the Phillies, who collected three of their franchise-record five stolen bases — for a postseason game — while building another insurance run in the eighth. Trea Turner singled with one out, swiped second and third, and trotted home with two outs when Braves catcher Sean Murphy was called for catcher’s interference with the bases loaded and J.T. Realmuto batting.

The five stolen bases by the Phillies are the most in a playoff game since the Kansas City Royals stole seven bags in the 2014 AL wild-card game.

Reliever Jeff Hoffman (1-0) earned the win by getting the final out of the fourth.

The Braves put runners on against each of the first six Philadelphia pitchers but finished 2-for-12 with runners on base.

Atlanta mounted its biggest threat in the eighth, when Ronald Acuna Jr. drew a leadoff walk against Orion Kerkering and Austin Riley greeted Matt Strahm with a single. Acuna moved up a base on Matt Olson’s flyout to the track in centerfield before Turner made a diving stop of Ozzie Albies’ grounder to begin a 6-4-3 double play.

Craig Kimbrel notched the save with a perfect ninth.

Stott and Harper had two hits apiece for the Phillies, who had just two other hits against Spencer Strider (0-1) and a trio of relievers. Harper walked in his other two plate appearances.

Five players had a hit apiece for the Braves.

Strider allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out eight over seven innings.

Stott’s RBI hit came one pitch after Harper took second on Strider’s errant pickoff throw.

–By Jerry Beach, Field Level Media

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