ATLANTA – Kyle Wright, major league baseball’s best pitcher this season, was the star for six innings as the Atlanta Braves evened their second-round series at 1-1 by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0 on Wednesday.
After persistent rain delayed the first pitch for nearly three hours, Wright gave up just two hits. He was better than fellow Zack Wheeler, who gave up three runs and four hits in six innings. The Braves found a flaw in Wheeler’s play in the sixth, where they scored their three runs.
The defending World Series champions lost Game 1 7-6.
Wright, a former first-round pick, started the season 2-8 in the major leagues. He completely turned things around, going 21-5, winning three more games than any other pitcher in Major League Baseball.
“I have worked on several aspects, but it is primarily a matter of trust,” he confided about his successes.
AJ Minter, Raisel Iglesias and Kenley Jansen closed out the game by pitching an inning each. Jansen was saved.
Philadelphia ended the game with only three goals.
Matt Olson, Austin Riley and Travis d’Arnaud contributed to the Braves’ singles runs. Atlanta only needed four goals to win.
Game 3 is Friday at Citizens Bank Park; The Phillies will play there for the first time since September 25th (a regular season loss to the Braves).
“Winning every other game here should give the lads some energy when they return to our passionate fans,” manager Rob Thomson said.
The Phillies have played 14 consecutive away games. This is their first appearance in the playoffs since 2011.
Right-hander Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25 ERA) will start for the Phillies in Game 3.
The Braves haven’t announced their pick yet, but we expect either Charlie Morton or Spencer Strider, two right-handers.