The Phillies lineup 3-4 run production combo of Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins finally produced together at the exact time that the Philadelphia Phillies needed them to on a rainy, gray Thursday afternoon series finale at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia.
Harper delivered the game-tying single in the 7th inning and Hoskins followed him up by plating two runs to push the Phillies into the lead at 7-5.
Hoskins’ hit capped a four-run rally in that 7th inning to give the Phillies (50-47) a split of the four-game series with the Dodgers (64-35), who still own baseball’s best record. The Phillies bullpen held on – barely – for the final six outs to secure a final 7-6 victory.
Harper’s 7th-inning hit capped a great day for him: 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two driven in. He and Hoskins backed a so-so start from Aaron Nola, who gave up four runs in five innings and surrendered three home runs.
After Harper delivered a sacrifice fly in the 1st inning, Adam Haseley drilled his first career big-league home run in the 2nd frame. By that point, the Dodgers already had two runs on the board.
Adam Haseley’s first career big-league home run tied the game up at 2-2 . pic.twitter.com/ivxiVfY0zp
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) July 18, 2019
Harper doubled and J.T. Realmuto added a sac fly in the bottom of the 3rd to give the Phils a lead that wouldn’t last long. In the top of the 4th, Hernández unloaded for a two-run shot, his second of the game off Nola, to put the Dodgers on top 4-3.
Nola struggled in the 5th inning but escaped without allowing a run.The right-hander was at 99 pitches by then, so that did it for his outing. Dodgers starter Ross Stripling also lasted five innings, exiting after setting the Phillies down in order in the bottom of the 5th.
Unsurprisingly, it was Hernández who victimized the Phils again in the 6th, sneaking a Fernando Salas pitch up the middle for an RBI single to give the Dodgers what felt like an insurance run. Ranger Suárez was called on to end the inning, which he did by getting Joc Pederson to fly out. Suárez also pitched a scoreless 7th.
Yimi García pitched a scoreless6th out of the Dodgers’ bullpen, but lefty Caleb Ferguson ran into trouble in the 7th. The Phillies rally began when Ferguson hit Haseley and walked Roman Quinn, then watched as Dylan Floro come on and allowed a one-out single to Jean Segura that made it a one-run ball game.
Joe Kelly relieved Floro, and Harper greeted Kelly with a tying single up the middle. Harper never stopped running, sliding into second as Cody Bellinger bobbled the ball. Quickly, Hoskins chopped an 0-2 pitch down the right-field line to give the Phillies the lead back, putting them on top 7-5.
Four-run rally by Phillies in bottom of 7th has them up 7-5 on Dodgers. pic.twitter.com/j4syURXoID
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) July 18, 2019
Suddenly finding themselves in the lead, the Phillies put themselves in lead-preservation mode. Adam Morgan worked around some hard contact to pitch a scoreless 8th, and then Héctor Neris came on to try and close it out in the 9th after blowing yesterday’s game.
The Dodgers power means they are rarely out of any game, and that revealed itself again in this one. Neris allowed a two-out home run to Alex Verdugo, and the Dodgers had cut their deficit to one run at 7-6. But Justin Turner flied out to the warning track, allowing Neris and the Phillies to hold on.
The win gives the Phillies what seemed often during the playing of it as an unlikely outcome, a 2-2 split of the series. They were outscored by 37-19 along the way, but will surely take the two wins in the increasingly tight NL Wildcard standings. The Phillies now move on to PNC Park and a three-game weekend series against the host Pirates in Pittsburgh.
SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING PERFORMANCE
Dodgers: Ross Stripling pitched five solid innings, giving up three runs (two earned) over five innings.
Phillies: Aaron Nola snapped a string of excellent starts, giving up four runs (all via the home run) in five innings. Beaty took Nola deep, then Hernández went back to back. Hernández added a two-run homer in the fourth inning.
PHILLIES NUGGETS PLAYER OF THE GAME: BRYCE HARPER
Sorry, Enrique Hernandez, your four hits were cool, but this is like NBA Finals MVP voting. Bryce Harper led the Phillies to a win, and he’s today’s player of the game. Harper got the job done with a sac fly in the 1st, then doubled and scored in the 3rd, and finally capped it off by driving in the game-tying run in the 7th. Harper continues to be a hot hitter in the middle of the Phillies lineup.
TICKET IQ NEXT GAME
Friday, July 18, 7:05 p.m. EDT against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park
TV: NBC 10
Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION:
- Trade Cesar Hernandez? Okay, but to where and for whom?
- Stats say the Phillies have three legitimate NL Gold Glove Award contenders
- Phillies 2019 players present a wide variety of walkup songs
- MLB Mid-July 2019 Power Ranking
- Jackie Bradley Jr could be a perfect center field fit for Phillies