Fill-in starter Jake Thompson pitched five scoreless innings and Aaron Altherr homered twice as the Phillies battered the Atlanta Braves, 10-3, on Friday night.
The Phils hit four homers in all, three in a seven-run fifth inning.
Altherr, who had the first of those homers in the fifth, added another in the eighth. He now has 16 this season.
Thompson (1-0) made his first start of the season when Jeremy Hellickson, the subject of trade speculation, was scratched shortly before the start of the game (see story).
Altherr and Cameron Rupp opened the fifth with back-to-back homers off Braves starter Julio Teheran (7-9). Tommy Joseph added a three-run shot later in the inning, and Altherr launched an opposite-field blast off reliever Jason Hursh in the eighth.
Atlanta’s Kurt Suzuki and Sean Rodriguez slugged solo homers off Phillies reliever Hoby Milner in the seventh.
Starting pitching report
Thompson, recalled Tuesday from Triple A Lehigh Valley, made three relief appearances in the majors earlier this season. On Friday he allowed five hits while striking out five and walking two.
He had runners on in every inning, but showed a sharp slider and changeup; all of his strikeouts came courtesy of one of those pitches. He also had help from his defense.
The Phillies turned a double play after the Braves put runners at the corners with one out in the first, and Altherr, playing left field, threw out Matt Kemp at second in the fourth, when he attempted to stretch a single into a double.
Teheran went 4 2/3 innings and allowed eight runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking two. He was nicked for a run in the first when Suzuki, the Braves’ catcher, threw wildly to third on Freddy Galvis’ steal, and responsible for all seven runs in the fifth.
Milner allowed the homers to Suzuki and Rodriguez in his two innings of work, and the Braves pushed another run across against Adam Morgan in the eighth with the help of Maikel Franco’s error.
Joaquin Benoit retired Ender Inciarte to end that inning, after Atlanta loaded the bases with two down, then pitched a scoreless ninth.
Atlanta reliever Sam Freeman blanked the Phils over 1 1/3 innings, but Hursh surrendered Altherr’s homer.
At the plate
Altherr began the game hitting .290, but manager Pete Mackanin dropped him to the seven-hole in the order because he was 1 for 12 off Teheran.
At the same time, Mackanin said, “He’s not the same hitter he was last year. He’s shorter to the ball.”
Altherr showed that in his fifth-inning at-bat, ripping Teheran’s 2-0 fastball into the upper deck in left, well over 400 feet away. He took Hursh’s 95-mph offering the other way for his second homer.
Rupp followed Altherr’s first homer of the night with his 10th, the fourth time this season the Phils have gone back to back. The last time was July 9 against San Diego, when Altherr and Galvis did so.
Galvis added an RBI triple later in the inning, then continued home on a throwing error by Atlanta second baseman Brandon Phillips.
Joseph’s three-run shot was his 16th homer of the season.
Suzuki hit his 11th homer and Rodriguez his second in the seventh for the Braves. Both of Rodriguez’s homers have come as a pinch hitter. He has four such homers in his career.
Pair of trades
Shortly after the game, the Phillies traded veteran outfielder/infielder Howie Kendrick to the Nationals (see story).
And later in the night, Hellickson was sent to the Orioles (see story).
Kemp left the game after straining his right hamstring on the fourth-inning play in which he attempted to stretch a single into a double.
Phillies RHP Jerad Eickhoff (2-7, 4.71) opposes LHP Sean Newcomb (1-5, 4.81) when the series continues Saturday night at 7:05 on NBC10.