In a game that the Philadelphia Phillies needed badly, the bats showed up in a big way and led them to 12-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday. With the victory, the Phillies (69-63) remain two games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second Wild Card spot and win their first series against a below-.500 team since July 23-24 against the Detroit Tigers.
After a quiet first inning for both teams, the Phillies offense got things rolling in the second. Rhys Hoskins, back in the cleanup spot, got things started with a leadoff triple. After Jean Segura struck out, Cesar Hernandez drove Hoskins home with a single to left. Scott Kingery followed with a single of his own, and then Adam Haseley plated Hernandez with a double to the right field corner to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the third, after Bryce Harper got on base on an infield hit to shortstop Kevin Newman, Hoskins crushed a double into left field to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead.
Just like on Friday, starter Vince Velasquez cruised through the first three innings before hitting a roadblock in the fourth. After Starling Marte reached on a one out single, Josh Bell smacked an opposite-field home run to trim the lead down to 3-2. However, unlike Friday, Velasquez allowed no further damage after this home run and the Phillies stayed ahead the rest of the way.
In the fifth inning, the Phillies offense blew this one open. Corey Dickerson got it started with an opposite-field home run to lead off the inning, his fifth home run as a Phillie. Realmuto followed with a triple before Harper hit him home with a single to extend the Phillies lead to 5-2. After Hoskins walked and Segura reached on an infield hit, Hernandez knocked in two more runs with a single into center. Scott Kingery and Haseley followed with back-to-back ground outs, the second of which scored Segura and extended the Phillies lead to 8-2.
After Logan Morrison pinch-hit for Velasquez in the fifth, left-handed reliever Austin Davis came in and pitched two innings, his only blemish a solo home run to Starling Marte in the sixth.
But in the bottom of the sixth, the Phillies added two more runs on a J.T. Realmuto home run, his 20th of the season, and a Jean Segura single that scored Bryce Harper, who had reached on a walk:
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 29, 2019
While Davis and Edgar Garcia finished the game with three shutout innings, the Phillies continued to add runs. In the seventh, Haseley reached on an infield hit before eventually scoring on a passed ball by Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings. And in the eighth, Cesar Hernandez and Scott Kingery hit back-to-back doubles to put the Phillies up 12-3.
This was a very impressive performance for the Phillies offense, who have remained somewhat inconsistent but have overall been better since Charlie Manuel took over as hitting coach:
The Phillies have averaged over six runs a game since making a change at hitting coach on Aug. 13.
It's difficult to quantify the exact effect a hitting coach has, but the change – probably for a variety of reasons – has sparked the offense.
— Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) August 29, 2019
The Phillies will need contributions from everyone in the lineup to continue down the stretch if they hope to make a run at a Wild Card spot. The rotation behind Aaron Nola is incredibly inconsistent and will need plenty of run support over the next month.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: J.T. Realmuto
- The entire Phillies offense showed up in this one, with seven different players recording multiple hits and eight different players driving in at least one run. Realmuto gets the nod here, though, as he finished 3-5 and just a double away from the cycle. Realmuto has been great defensively all year for the Phillies, and he has really picked it up at the plate since the All-Star break.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Vince Velasquez really needed this one after blowing a seven-run lead in Miami on Friday. He delivered, throwing five solid innings with a two-run home run to Josh Bell being his only blemish. He has actually been solid for the most part of late for the Phillies, throwing at least five innings and allowing three or less runs in six of his last seven starts.
- Mitch Keller flashed good swing-and-miss stuff, striking out eight in four plus innings. But that was all that went well for the rookie, who got hit around by the Phillies who tallied eight runs and eight hits against him.
TicketIQ Next Game
- Aug. 30th at Citizens Bank Park vs. New York Mets
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
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