ATLANTA — For a while Thursday night it looked like Philadelphia finally found some pitching. Then closer Jeanmar Gomez entered the game and the Phillies lost again, 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
Gomez (3-5) struck out Freddie Freeman in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 1-1 game to end his 30-game hitting streak, the longest in the majors since Atlanta’s Dan Uggla went for 32 in 2011.
Freeman was the only batter Gomez retired.
Moments after Freeman whiffed, Matt Kemp followed with a double off the wall in right field. That scored rookie Dansby Swanson, who walked before Freeman’s at-bat, for a 2-1 lead.
Jace Peterson added an RBI single and pinch-hitter Emilio Bonafacio had a two-run single to give the Braves their seventh straight victory over the Phillies, and their 10th win in 11 games.
Philadelphia’s heading home and heading in the other direction. The Phillies lost six of seven games on the road trip, and they were outscored 68-33 in those games.
Philadelphia starter Jeremy Hellickson left with a 1-0 lead after 3 1/3 innings because of a sprained right knee. He hurt himself running the bases as he scored in the third on Odubel Herrera’s soft hit to left field.
Hellickson didn’t seem concerned about the tweak after the game, and he won’t pitch again this season. The question is, will he pitch for Philadelphia next season? He’s soon to be a restricted free agent after putting together a fine season (12-10, 3.71 ERA).
The matter of whether the Phillies make him a satisfactory qualifying offer remains to be seen.
“I would love to be back next year. I mean, I definitely could see (accepting),” he told Philadelphia reporters. “Yeah, I would love (a long-term deal) actually a little bit more.”
Philly’s bullpen was fine until Gomez came on in the eighth and gave up four earned runs while hitting a batter, walking two and allowing three hits in 1/3 of an inning.
Kemp’s blast was hardly a surprise. Since he was traded from San Diego on Aug. 2, he’s hit 11 homers and driven in 38 runs. The Braves have averaged 5.3 runs per game in his 53 games in an Atlanta uniform.
“Some guys drive runs in,” Atlanta interim manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s just one of them guys you can count on.”
Atlanta tied the game in the sixth on Swanson’s third home run, his first in Turner Field.
Mauricio Cabrera (5-1) became the first Braves rookie reliever since Mike Stanton in 1991 to record at least five wins and five saves (6) when he retired the only batter he faced in the top of the eighth. He induced cleanup hitter Tommy Joseph to line out to left field with a runner at second.
Braves started Josh Collmenter, acquired Sept. 14 from the Cubs for cash, allowed one run in seven innings. He earlier appeared in relief in 15 games for the Diamondbacks before Arizona released him.
In three starts with the Braves, he’s 2-0 with an ERA of 2.37.
Philadelphia rookie LF Roman Quinn, who left Tuesday’s game against the Braves with a strained oblique after registering hits in his first three at-bats, may be finished. “I doubt if he’ll play the rest of the year,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
ENOUGH OF THIS PLACE
The Phillies finished 82-91 in Turner Field, which is closing after the Braves’ three-game series this weekend with the Tigers. Next year Atlanta will play 9 miles to the north, in the new SunTrust Field.
Phillies: Philadelphia returns home for a day off and then will close the season with two games against the Mets.
Braves: RHP Matt Wisler (7-12, 4.86) will make his final start Friday. It will be his first against visiting Detroit.