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Suárez leads Phillies to shutout against Braves

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Ranger Suarez pitched six brilliant innings and the Philadelphia Phillies continued their quest for their first playoff berth in a decade, beating the Atlanta Braves 1-0 on Thursday. Matt Vierling drove in the only run of the game on a sacrifice fly to center field in the second inning to drive in J.T. Realmut. Suarez gave up five hits, struck out four and gave up a pair of walks.

Zach Eflin got five outs before José Alvarado finished a six-hitter to earn his second save. Philadelphia (82-67) moved within a half-game of San Diego, which now has the second of three wild-card berths in the NL playoffs.

He was still two and a half games ahead of Milwaukee in the fight for the third pass. The Phillies also have a season series lead over the Brewers. That constitutes the tiebreaker between the clubs this year, after the Major Leagues eliminated the need to play an additional game, under its expanded playoff format.

Atlanta (93-57) fell a game and a half behind the New York Mets, who rested and lead the Eastern Division of the National League. The two clubs meet in Atlanta next weekend. The Braves have already secured their participation in the playoffs and have the first wild card ticket for now. Venezuelan Ronald Acuña Jr. missed the game for Atlanta due to a stiff back problem.


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