The Phillies held a 5-2 lead in the ninth inning with Hector Neris ready to close it out.
Leading off the inning, Yasiel Puig homered to left center. It was 5-3. No big deal.
Cody Bellinger, who homered earlier in the game, was up next. He homered to right to cut the lead to one. OK, a little too close for comfort now.
Pinch hitter Justin Turner, who had the night off, was up next. And yes, he did the unthinkable. He homered to left, tying the game at five.
The Phils got a taste of their own medicine. The Dodgers went back-to-back-to-back.
But it wasn’t over. Pete Mackanin yanked Neris and turned to Joely Rodriguez with the game still tied. But Rodriguez wasn’t able to put out the fire. Adrian Gonzalez ended the game, as he was credited with an infield RBI single. With runners on first and second, he hit a weak ground ball between Maikel Franco and Freddy Galvis. Franco wasn’t able to corral it, as it caromed off his glove, away from Galvis into short left field.
This was an egregious loss for the Phillies. The blown lead overshadowed Brock Stassi‘s three-run home run and Andrew Knapp‘s three-hit night. The rookie catcher also hit his first major league home run and was a triple shy of the cycle. Zach Eflin, who went seven strong allowing just two runs, was not credited with a decision.
Hector Neris‘s ERA has ballooned to 4.97 since his first seven scoreless appearances. It appears Neris isn’t ready to close out games, either. For whatever reason, that ninth inning is a different animal. Perhaps it’s back to Joaquin Benoit or Pat Neshek‘s turn as the closing carousel will likely continue.