PHILADELPHIA — Nick Pivetta struck out seven over seven innings, and Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr homered Monday night to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 3-0 victory against the Atlanta Braves.

The Phillies took the opener of the three-game series and moved a half-game behind Atlanta for first place in the NL East.

Philadelphia hasn’t had a winning record since it made the last of five straight postseason berths in 2011. The Phillies lost 96 games in 2017 – the third straight season of more than 90 losses.

Under first-year manager Gabe Kapler, the Phillies are back competing for first in late May for the first time since Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Cole Hamels dominated during the glory years. But in a year where the Eagles won the Super Bowl, Villanova won a national championship and the 76ers won 52 games, perhaps Philly fans need more than 45 games to hop on the bandwagon. Citizens Bank Park, the site of an NL-record 257 straight sellouts that ended in 2012, was thin with just over 21,000 fans announced on a gorgeous night.

The Braves played the Phillies for the 10th time already, resulting in this quirk: Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz faced Pivetta for the fourth time this season.

Pivetta (4-2) allowed only four hits, walked one and won his third straight start. Seranthony Dominguez tossed a scoreless eighth and Hector Neris finished the five-hitter in the ninth with his ninth save.

Foltynewicz (3-3) allowed six hits and struck out five in six innings. His lone run allowed came when Williams hit a solo shot in the fourth, an opposite-field poke to left for his third of the year. The Phillies have homered in 16 straight games.

Altherr pinch hit for Pivetta in the seventh and crushed a two-run homer to left off Shane Carle for a 3-0 lead.

The Phillies and Braves don’t play again after this series until they face each other for seven of the final 10 games of the season.

NATIONALS 10, PADRES 2: Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as Washington won at home.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto’s drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. Soto, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals’ bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto’s homer traveled an estimated 442 feet. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

METS 2, MARLINS 0: Jason Vargas returned to the rotation with five excellent innings, AJ Ramos pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth and New York won at home.

The Mets got their fourth straight win, following up a three-game sweep of NL West-leading Arizona. New York is 6-2 in its past eight games, 5-1 on this homestand and 24-19 overall.

Vargas (1-3), 35, had his previous turn skipped after three sloppy outings to open the season, but shut down Miami with change-ups and guile for his first victory with the Mets. Ten of his outs came via the change, and he struck out seven without reaching 90 mph with his fastball. He allowed two hits and a walk before leaving after 86 pitches.

New York used three pitchers in a scoreless – but eventful – sixth inning. Paul Sewald got two outs but put two on before left-hander Jerry Blevins entered to face left-handed slugger Justin Bour. Blevins walked Bour on a full count and was replaced by Ramos, and the right-hander struck out pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich swinging to leave the bases loaded and preserve a 1-0 lead.

BREWERS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 2: Travis Shaw, Domingo Santana and Lorenzo Cain hit home runs off Zack Greinke, and Milwaukee won at home.

Arizona has lost five straight and 11 of 12, scoring just 24 runs in that span.

Greinke (3-3) struck out nine, walked none and gave up five hits in six innings, but the home runs did him in.

Shaw hit a two-run homer in the first, Santana sliced an opposite-field solo shot in the fourth and Cain homered leading off the sixth. Greinke hadn’t allowed more than two home runs in a game this season.

Greinke, who got an extra day of rest before this game, slipped to 1-4 at Miller Park after a 15-0 stretch while pitching for the Brewers from May 9, 2011 to June 6, 2012.

NOTES

BLUE JAYS: Major League Baseball extended the administrative leave of closer Roberto Osuna for a third seven-day period through May 28 as it investigates an assault charge filed against him.

Osuna was put on administrative leave by MLB on May 8. He was charged with one count of assault, according to Toronto police. Osuna, who is from Mexico, is scheduled to appear in court June 18.

NATIONALS: Howie Kendrick was transferred to the 60-day disabled list by Washington, which recalled left-hander Tim Collins from Triple-A Syracuse.

Kendrick, 34, tore his left Achilles tendon during the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers. A second baseman who also was used in the outfield, Kendrick hit .303 with four homers and 12 RBI in 40 games.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.