Nick Castellanos leads Phillies to NLDS opener win against Braves

Nick Castellanos #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Nick Castellanos #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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The Phillies edged their division-rival Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS, 7-6.

The Philadelphia Phillies took a one-game lead over the Atlanta Braves after winning the thrilling National League Division Series opener, 7-6 — in large part thanks to outfielder Nick Castellanos, who went 3-for-5 with three RBI. Castellanos also made an impressive and arguably game-saving defensive play in the ninth inning — preventing the tying run from entering scoring position.

Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm, and Jean Segura also had solid offensive performances that contributed to the victory. The reigning National League MVP went 3-for-3 and scored a run at the plate. Bohm had a clutch, two-out hit and knocked in two runs. Segura, meanwhile, went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI.

The Phillies offense got things started when they scored two runs off Braves ace Max Fried in the first inning. The offense managed to score six runs — four earned — against the left-hander.

Starting pitcher Ranger Suárez went 3 1/3 innings and surrendered one earned run. He struggled with control and walked five Braves batters. He was able to pitch out of trouble a few times, however, and record five strikeouts.

The bullpen then came in and gave up two runs, as Connor Brogdon continued his struggles. The brightest spot of the bullpen was hard-throwing right-hander Seranthony Domínguez — who pitched two no-hit innings and struck out three batters. José Alvarado followed with a scoreless eighth inning.

Drama occurred in the ninth when Zach Eflin allowed a three-run home run to Matt Olson to make it a one-run contest. He was able to pitch out of trouble and get two more outs to finish the game and give the Phillies the 1-0 series advantage.

Taking the series opener in Atlanta now gives the Phillies a huge advantage, as they will get to Philadelphia with at least one win. The Phils will next turn to ace Zack Wheeler on Wednesday.

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