PHILADELPHIA, PA --
The Phillies started the 2021 season off on the right foot by taking down the Atlanta Braves 3-2 in extra innings behind a solid outing from ace Aaron Nola. In 6.2 innings, Nola notched six strikeouts, while just giving up six runs and no walks.
With Nola throwing a perfect 1st inning on just 9 pitches, and lead-off batter Andrew McCutchen reaching base and scoring on an Alec Bohm sacrifice fly, the Phils started the game off hot. They would continue their hot start in the bottom of the 3rd when first baseman Rhys Hoskins doubled to left and advanced to third on a Bryce Harper Single. Hoskins would be brought home on a single by JT Realmuto giving the Phillies a 2-0 advantage. However, minor controversy arose on the very same play that sent Hoskins home when Harper, who appeared to have thought the ball was hit into the outfield, attempted to advance to third, ultimately being called out after a rather lengthy review.
In the top of the 6th inning, Ronald Acuña Jr. reached first on a single and would advance to third later in the same inning thanks to a Rhys Hoskins error on a routine play, sending the batter, Freddie Freeman to second. With just one out and two runners in scoring position, the Braves looked primed to strike at Philadelphia's 2 run lead when Marcell Ozuna ripped a line drive down the third baseline. Miraculously, second-year third baseman Alec Bohm lept into the air and was able to catch Ozuna's line drive, making the out without letting either of the two runners advance. Bohm's spectacular play set Aaron Nola up to end the inning with one of his 6 strikeouts of the night.
In the top of the 7th inning with Cristian Pache on second, Pablo Sandoval, who was pinch-hitting for pitcher Tyler Matzek, tied the game at 2 with a 407-foot home run off to right field that landed in the second deck of Citizens Bank Park. After the home run by Sandoval, Aaron Nola would be pulled for Archie Bradley, and there would be no more runs allowed by either team for the remainder of the regularly scheduled innings.
After a low-scoring 9 innings of play with the score even, the Phillies and Braves would find themselves in extra innings in order to determine a winner. Ozzie Albies started on second for the Braves and later advanced to third on a Freddie Freeman single. Next Marcell Ozuna flew out to center giving Albies a chance to take the lead.
Despite his best efforts, Albies was thrown out at home on a perfect throw by Roman Quinn, securing the double play. This put the Phillies in a prime position to walk out of Citizens Bank Park with a W. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th, Jean Segura hit the walk-off single down the third base line which sent Bryce Harper home to give the Phillies their first win of the young MLB season.