Albies, McCarthy help Braves protect first place vs. Phillies

The Braves will retain first place for another day.

Behind Ozzie Albies and Brandon McCarthy, they won a 3-1 barnburner against the Phillies on Tuesday.

Albies put the Braves ahead with a solo homer in the third. They tacked on another run in the fifth after two Phillies throwing errors and added an insurance run in the ninth when Ronald Acuna’s single scored Albies.

McCarthy was strong, allowing one run over 5 2/3 innings while walking three and striking out five. The lone damage came on Cesar Hernandez’s RBI-single in the fifth.

The Phillies had a chance to tie it in the eighth when Odubel Herrera doubled off the left-field wall. Carlos Santana reached on an infield single to put runners at the corners with two outs. A.J. Minter got Jorge Alfaro to fly out to center to end the inning.

Albies’ homer was his 14th, tying him for the National League lead with Bryce Harper. His 31 extra-base hits are most in the league.

The win pushed the Phillies back another game in the standings. The Braves have a 1 1/2-game lead atop the NL East. Wednesday’s series finale will be the last time the rivals play until late September.