ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves may have found new help for their starting rotation, just in time to possibly influence their trade deadline plans.
Rookie Bryse Wilson allowed only two runs in six innings, Josh Donaldson and Austin Riley hit three-run homers off Nick Pivetta and the Braves solidified their NL East lead by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 9-2 on Wednesday night.
Atlanta leads second-place Philadelphia by 5 1/2 games after splitting the first two games of the series.
Wilson (1-0) gave the depleted rotation a boost in only his fourth career start, including three this season.
The rotation has lost Mike Foltynewicz, a 2018 All-Star who was sent to Triple-A Gwinnett on June 22, and Kevin Gausman, who was placed on the injured list on June 11 with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Wilson, who opened the season in Atlanta before being sent back to the minors, was needed even following the recent addition of Dallas Keuchel.
Wilson's outing could impact the team's trade outlook. There has been much speculation the Braves could attempt to add another veteran starting pitching before the July 31 trade deadline. Now Wilson showed he may be an option to remain in Atlanta.
"That was a really encouraging, positive outing right there," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
Wilson, who gave up four earned runs in a loss at Chicago on Thursday, relied heavily on his fastball against the Phillies.
"To get the results I was looking for was really nice," Wilson said, adding that beating the division-rival Phillies "just makes it that much more special."
Bryce Harper hit a line-drive homer to left field in the sixth. It was his 200th career homer and 1,000th career hit. According to the Phillies, it marked the first time in major league history a player reached milestones in hits and homers on the same swing.
Harper, aware of the significance of the homer, signaled for the ball as he ran around the bases. He had his wish granted by a fan who threw the ball back onto the field.
"I got lucky I got some nice fans out there to throw it back to me," Harper said, adding he enjoyed the double milestone on one homer.
Wilson, 21, faded in the sixth, when he allowed Harper's 16th homer, Rhys Hoskins' double to left field and J.T. Realmuto's run-scoring single to left. Realmuto was thrown out at second to end the inning after Hoskins scored to cut Atlanta's lead to 3-2.
The Braves pulled away with six runs on seven hits in the bottom of the sixth. Pivetta (4-3) allowed six runs, five earned, in 5 2/3 innings.
Phillies: RHP David Robertson, trying to return from right elbow soreness, threw 19 pitches in the bullpen. He hasn't pitched since April 14. Robertson threw his fastball "with more conviction" according to manager Gabe Kapler. ... RHP Jerad Eickhoff (right biceps tendinitis) will play catch on Friday. ... Nicasio suffered a mild left groin strain while giving up three runs and recording only one out. He will be evaluated Thursday.
Scott Kingery made two highlight-worthy catches in center field. He raced in to catch a sinking liner hit by Nick Markakis in the sixth and made a diving snag of Donaldson's fly ball in the right-center gap in the seventh. Atlanta's Ronald Acuna Jr. also made a diving catch of Jean Segura's drive to the right-center gap in the eighth.
DON'T LOOK NOW
The Phillies are only one-half game ahead of third-place Washington in the division. Harper, the former Nationals star, isn't surprised his old team is moving up. "I think we all knew that was going to happen," he said.
The sellout of 40,147 set a Wednesday record for SunTrust Park. All five games against the Phillies have been sellouts.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (7-7, 3.34 ERA) is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in three career starts against the Braves. He has not faced Atlanta this season.
Braves: All-Star RHP Mike Soroka (9-1, 2.13) will be the second straight rookie to face the Phillies as the three-game series ends.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
'I love it here, but it's still a business': Mookie Betts' future looms large in Boston
Boston's title defense is over and its front office is in flux. And with their biggest star approaching his walk year, the Red Sox have a ton of work to do this winter and beyond.
Cardinals-Cubs with a division title on the line: Breaking down the high-stakes showdown
It doesn't get much better than two of baseball's bitter rivals squaring off with a playoff spot up for grabs. We look at the matchup from both sides.
Law: Shane Bieber and four other players I was wrong about
A Belieber? Keith Law was not. Here's how Cleveland's breakout pitcher and other surprising stars have outperformed expectations.
The biggest surprises and disappointments of the 2019 MLB season
We knew the Yankees would hit a lot of home runs, but not DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela. The Phillies spent big but didn't cash in. Here are the top overachievers and the worst flops.
Twins face Royals, look to extend lead on Indians
The Minnesota Twins open their final home series of the season on Thursday night when they begin a four-game set with the Kansas City Royals at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Cubs host Cardinals with division on line
The ballpark always buzzes when the Chicago Cubs take on the rival St. Louis Cardinals.