The Philadelphia Phillies improbable run through the postseason will continue as they closed out the Atlanta Braves 8-3 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park.

Brandon Marsh hit a three-run home run and J.T. Realmuto added an inside-the-park home run as Philadelphia advanced to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2010.

Noah Syndergaard struck out three in three innings and did what he was asked to do. Brad Hand, one of six pitchers to take the mound, got the win.

Realmuto became the first catcher to hit an inside-the-park homer and Bryce Harper went deep for the fourth time in the playoffs as the Phillies outscored Atlanta 24-13 in the series.

The Braves' defeat means baseball won't have a repeat champion with the last team to successfully defend their title being the Yankees from 1998-2000.

"Like I told them, when we leave spring training the goal is to win the division. Until you win the division, you don't have a chance to do anything special because you never what's going to happen, you don't know what team's going to get hot, what things have got to go right for you to go deep into the postseason", said manager Brian Snitker.

"And we got in. It didn't happen for us this year."

Phillies offense overpowers Braves, completes upset

Philadelphia began their offensive outburst in the bottom of the second. Alec Bohm hit a liner off of losing pitcher Charlie Morton's pitching elbow. Jean Segura singled and Marsh launched a 2-2 curveball into the right field seats to put the Phillies on top 3-0.

Orlando Arcia touched Syndergaard for a solo home run in the third to cut it to 3-1.

With Collin McHugh relieving Morton, Realmuto hit a ball that hit the angled portion of the wall beyond the reach of center fielder Michael Harris Jr., and the carom rolled along the warning track toward right-center.

Ronald Acuna Jr. stood in right field watching the play, and didn’t start running toward the ball until Realmuto was well past first base. Realmuto, who runs extremely well for a catcher, made a headfirst slide into the plate, well ahead of the relay throw.

J.T. Realmuto slides into home plate after hitting an inside-the-park home run in Game 4/Photo: Drew Hallowell/MLB Photos via Getty Images
J.T. Realmuto slides into home plate after hitting an inside-the-park home run in Game 4/Photo: Drew Hallowell/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Philadelphia put the game away in the sixth as Harper, Realmuto and Game 3 hero Rhys Hoskins all had run-scoring singles to extend the lead to 7-2.

"They're hitting on all cylinders at the right time. It's a good club", Snitker said. "They've got really good players and they're getting it going at the right time."

Rob Thomson took over for Joe Girardi with the Phillies sitting at 23-29 and guided them to a 64-46 record. They swept St. Louis in the Wild Card round and pounded Atlanta to reach the NLCS.

"We just kind of got off to a little bit of a slow start and kind of spiraled. And May was a really tough month. It was a really tough schedule", Thomson said.

"Then once we hit June, the schedule kind of lightened up a little bit and we started winning, and guys started getting confidence and believing that they could win and believing that, OK, now this is the team that we thought we were. And just kept going."