ATLANTA — Craig Kimbrel became the eighth pitcher in major league history to earn 400 saves, Brandon Marsh hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the sixth inning, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves, 6-4, on Friday night.
Making his 730th career appearance, the 34-year-old Kimbrel worked a scoreless ninth to get his sixth save in six chances this season. Of the seven previous relievers to reach 400 saves, only Mariano Rivera (697 games), Trevor Hoffman (706), and Kenley Jansen (778) hit the threshold in under 800 appearances.
Kimbrel, the 2011 NL Rookie of the Year, played his first five seasons in Atlanta, was a four-time All-Star with the Braves, and still holds the franchise record with 186 saves. This is his first season with Philadelphia. Across his last 14 games since April 16, Kimbrel has faced 50 batters and has 26 strikeouts in 13 innings, but the hard-throwing righthander began the game with a 6.00 ERA.
Facing reliever Joe Jiménez (0-1) with the bases loaded in the sixth, Marsh made it 4-3 with a single to left field that scored Nick Castellanos and J.T. Realmuto. The Phillies scored twice in the seventh off Lucas Luetge on Trea Turner’s RBI double and Bryce Harper’s sacrifice fly.
The Braves led, 3-2, in the fifth when Michael Harris II snapped a 1-for-28 slump with a two-run homer. Beginning the game hitting .165, Harris drove an 88 mile-per-hour splitter from starter Taijuan Walker (4-2) for an opposite-field shot to left. It was the second home run for Harris, last season’s NL Rookie of the Year.
The NL-leading Braves dropped to 31-20. Philadelphia, stuck in fourth place in the NL East after advancing to the World Series last year, is 24-27. The Phillies are seven games back of Atlanta in the division standings.
New Bedford native Jared Shuster, the Braves’ top prospect according to MLB.com, allowed three hits and three runs in 5⅔ innings. It was his fifth career start.