Welcome to Boston, Brandon Phillips.
The Boston Red Sox trailed 8-7 with two outs in ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. Then Phillips, who was making his Red Sox debut, launched a two-run, go-ahead home run off Braves reliever A.J. Minter, propelling Boston to a thrilling 9-8 victory — and series sweep — at SunTrust Park.
Phillips’ homer capped a memorable game for the Red Sox, who erased a 7-1 deficit in the eighth inning to tie the game. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman responded by hitting a solo homer in the bottom half of the inning to put Atlanta back on top — seemingly for good.
Hector Velazquez got the start for Boston and surrendered two runs in four innings, but didn’t factor into the decision. Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz was impressive over six innings, but the Red Sox’s rally deprived him of the chance to earn his 11th victory.
With the win, the Red Sox improved to 97-44, while the Braves fell to 76-63 with the win.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
In what’s been a season full of memorable victories, Wednesday’s triumph might have been the greatest of them all.
ON THE BUMP
— Velazquez pitched OK, but surrendering two runs in the first inning never is a recipe for success. In total, the right-hander surrendered two runs on five hits and three walks in four innings. He also struck out two batters.
— Drew Pomeranz took over in the fifth inning and struggled, to say the least. The left-hander allowed the first four batters to reach and surrendered a run before recording a single out. After getting Kurt Suzuki to ground out, Pomeranz gave up a bases-clearing triple to Ozzie Albies before getting pulled.
— William Cuevas got the ball next and allowed an inherited runner to score. The right-hander eventually finished the inning without allowing any further damage.
Cuevas also pitched the sixth and threw a perfect inning.
— Manager Alex Cora handed the ball to Bobby Poyner in the seventh inning, and the left-hander responded with a 1-2-3 inning
— Brandon Workman entered the eighth inning with the score tied 7-7. But after retiring the first two-batters, the right-hander surrendered a go-ahead solo home run to Freeman — although he eventually was credited with the win.
— Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth inning to secure his 38th save.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Boston had only two hits entering the eighth inning — then everything changed.
— The Red Sox began the inning trailing 7-1, but exploded for six runs on seven hits to tie the game.
— Nearly every member of the lineup contributed, but the biggest hit came from Ian Kinsler, who tied the game with a pinch-hit, two-run single.
— Mookie Betts pinch hit for Jackie Bradley Jr. with the bases loaded and two outs, but struck out to end the inning.
— Phillips and the Red Sox were down to their final strike when the 37-year-old did this:
— Phillips went 1-for-3 with a homer, two RBIs and two walks in his Boston debut.
— Andrew Benintendi (3-for-5) and Christian Vazquez (2-for-3) were the only members of the lineup who had multi-hit games.
— Blake Swihart only went 1-for-5, but his hit was a big one: a two-run double with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.
— Bradley, Rafael Devers and Tzu-Wei Lin each had one hit.
— The Red Sox wound up out-hitting the Braves 11-10.
TWEET OF THE DAY
You earned that celebration, Brandon.
The Red Sox are off Thursday before beginning a three-game set with the Houston Astros on Friday. First Pitch at Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images