Welcome back to the bigs, Brandon Phillips.
Phillips, the veteran infielder making his Red Sox debut after being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, hammered a pitch into the left-field bleachers with two out in the ninth inning to give the Sox a wild, 9-8 victory over the Braves on Wednesday in Atlanta.
The Sox had rallied from a 7-1 deficit with a six-run eighth inning to tie it at 7. Freddie Freeman put the Braves ahead 8-7 in the eighth with a home run off Brandon Workman before Phillips' heroics.
Phillips, 37, a two-time All-Star with the Cincinnati Reds, was signed to a minor league deal this summer by the Sox and stuck it out in Pawtucket, despite having opportunities to opt out of the deal. Wearing number 0 - a first in Red Sox history - Phillips started at second base in Alex Cora's makeshift, getaway day lineup and scored the Red Sox' first run on a groundout, walked twice, scored three runs and made a nice catch when he nearly went into the stands for a popup.
"I've been watching these guys when I was down there in the bushes," Phillips told NESN in a postgame interview. "They never give up. They always come back."
Playing near his hometown of Stone Mountain, Ga., Phillips launched a first-pitch cutter from Braves reliever A.J. Minter after Andrew Benintendi's one-out single and Steve Pearce had struck out.
Boston Red Sox
"I'm back in Atlanta playing in front of my family and friends and said if I get a chance to do something, I'm gonna make something happen," Phillips said. "I'm gonna make it rain today and look what happened."