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MLB: Braves clinch NL East title with sweep of Phillies

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The Atlanta Braves got six strong innings from starter Ian Anderson and home runs from Jorge Soler and Austin Riley to beat the visiting Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 on Thursday, clinching their fourth consecutive National League East championship.

Anderson (9-5) settled down after escaping from a second-inning jam and allowed two runs on three hits and three walks with two strikeouts to win his fourth straight decision. He has not lost since returning from the injured list on Aug. 29 after recovering from shoulder soreness.

In sweeping the three-game series, Atlanta’s three starters combined to allow only four runs, three earned, in 20 innings. The Phillies never had a lead in the series.

Atlanta closer Will Smith pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out two, to earn his 37th save. He fanned Ronald Torreyes to end the game.

The Braves (86-72) have won six straight and 10 of their last 11, and they are 42-27 since the All-Star Game. The Phillies (81-78) have dropped four in a row.

Philadelphia lost seven of nine games in Atlanta, allowing the Braves to take the season series 10-9.

The losing pitcher was Kyle Gibson (10-9), who worked 4 1/3 innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on four hits and two walks. He fanned eight.

The Braves used the long ball to jump out to the early lead. Soler connected on the first leadoff home run of his career to start the game, his 26th homer of the year.

Riley belted his 33rd home run to start the fourth inning. Atlanta added another run that inning when Travis d’Arnaud drew a two-out walk and came home on Dansby Swanson’s double.

The Braves tacked on two runs in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead. Freddie Freeman reached on a one-out error and scored on Ozzie Albies’ triple, the hit that chased Gibson. Albies scored when Riley greeted reliever Connor Brogdon with a broken-bat RBI single.

The Phillies cut the deficit to 5-2 in the seventh when Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run shot, his 26th homer of the year.

Philadelphia added another run in the eighth when J.T. Realmuto hit a solo shot to left, his 17th homer, off reliever Luke Jackson.

–Field Level Media

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