ATLANTA — A rare burst of Georgia rain following a mostly dry summer helped Freddie Freeman and the Atlanta Braves remain red-hot.
Freeman hit his career-high 33rd homer and stretched his career-best hitting streak to 29 games, helping the Atlanta Braves begin their final homestand at Turner Field with a 7-6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.
The game was twice delayed by weather for a total of 2 hours, 24 minutes. Atlanta overcame a 6-0 deficit to win for the eighth time in nine games and get its fifth straight victory over Philadelphia.
“I think the rain delay kind of helped; everybody got re-grouped,” Freeman said. “Things are going through, and I’m hitting pitches I was missing early in the season.”
Mallex Smith and pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio had RBI singles in the eighth to lead. David Hernandez (3-4) ended a scoreless streak of 10 2/3 innings and took the loss.
Mauricio Cabrera (4-1) got the win for the Braves, and Jim Johnson got his 18th save.
The Braves have five games left at Turner Field before moving nine miles north to SunTrust Park for 2017.
The Phillies jumped on starter Julio Teheran in the first inning when Ryan Howard hit the 15th grand slam of his career, most ever by a Philadelphia player. His 23 home runs in Turner Field are the most by a visiting player.
Philadelphia added two runs in the second inning, and starter Jerad Eickhoff was cruising for the visitors. He retired the first 10 batters he faced before Freeman’s drive to right field made it 6-1 in the fourth.
Neither starter returned after a 1-hour, 53-minute rain delay following the inning, however, and Philly’s bullpen struggled from there.
“If things weren’t going bad enough, Eickhoff looked like he was having one of his best games and the rain came,” said Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin. “We got 14 hits, but we stranded 12 runners and … the bullpen is just not doing the job.”
Atlanta scored a pair of runs off Severino Gonzalez and two more off Luis Garcia in the sixth on an RBI single by Nick Markakis and a three-run homer by catcher Tyler Flowers to draw within 6-5.
“It’s true to form with what they’ve been doing,” Atlanta interim manager Brian Snitker said. “You don’t feel good down six, but I felt good with all the at-bats we had left.”
Freeman, who on Monday was named NL player of the week, added a single on a night when he tied Rowland Office (1976) for the third-longest hitting streak in Braves history (29). The record is 33, by Dan Uggla in 2011. Freeman also reached base for the 45th straight game, the second-longest streak in the majors this season behind Washington’s Jayson Werth (46), and his home run gave him his NL-leading 82nd extra-base hit. The franchise record is 87, set by third baseman Chipper Jones when he won the NL MVP Award in 1999.
Phillies: OF Roman Quinn, who had hits in his first three at-bats, left the game in the sixth inning with a left oblique strain.
BOBBY SAYS BYE-BYE
Former Braves manager Bobby Cox received a warm ovation when he pulled the big numeral “6” off the left-field wall in the middle of the fifth inning. Cox led the team from 1978-81 and then from 1990-2010 when they won 14 consecutive division titles, five National League championships and the 1995 World Series. He wore jersey No. 6, which the team has retired, and that’s how many games were left in Turner Field before the first pitch.
Atlanta traded utility infielder Gordon Beckham, an Atlanta native and former University of Georgia standout, to the Giants for minor league infielder Rich Rodriguez. Beckham will not be eligible for postseason play if San Francisco earns a wild-card spot.
Phillies: LHP Adam Morgan (2-10, 5.57) has a career ERA of 3.19 in five starts against the Braves.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (8-5, 4.41) will make his final start as a near lock to lead Atlanta in wins for the year. He’s 1-1 in two career starts against Philadelphia with a 7.94 ERA after allowing five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings in his lone start against the Phillies this season.