Charlie Culberson did not even start the game and led the Braves to their fifth win in six games out west. The super-utility maestro was forced into action after Johan Camargo exited with groin tightness. And like he has done time and time again, delivered with a two-run homer, his 11th of the season. That is all Mike Foltynewicz would need, facing a Giants offense that has been starving for runs of late. He threw nine innings of one-run ball with 7 Ks in 108 pitches, his second complete game of the season, lowering his ERA to 2.66.
Meanwhile, the Phillies hosted the Nationals in a critical double-header. The bats did not show up for the home side in game one, making game two a near must-win. They took a 6-3 lead into the top ninth, but like Atlanta, Philadelphia’s bullpen has not been the most reliable. A leadoff walk foreshadowed the inning to come. Washington only managed a single hit to the outfield, but was able to score three runs. The Philly bullpen walked four and allowed two singles as the game went to extras. From there, it was rookie sensation, Juan Soto, that would send the Philadelphia fans home miserable. His second home-run of the night gave the Nats a 7-6 victory, putting the Phillies a season-high 6.5 games out of first.
The Braves magic number now stands at 12 with 17 games left on their schedule. They wrap up their three-game set with the Giants today at 3:45 ET before heading back East for their final home stand of the season. The Phillies stay at home to face the Marlins after their final game with the Nationals Wednesday night.