The Philadelphia Phillies surrendered a three-run lead as they lost their series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.
After a good start offensively for Philadelphia, starter Vince Velasquez lasted under five innings in Friday’s game at Tropicana Field. The bullpen then allowed three runs to allow Tampa Bay to come from behind and win, 6-4.
A loss in this game did not fare well for the Phillies’ playoff chances. They now sit at 28-30 with just two games remaining in the season.
- After a 1-2-3 first inning for Velasquez, the Rays scored a run in the second on an RBI single to right field by Brett Phillips. They ended up loading the bases, but Velasquez worked out of it to prevent further damage.
- The Phillies answered with three runs of their own in the top of the third. Scott Kingery singled, moved to second on a groundout and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Alec Bohm then knocked him in with a bloop single to right field. Bryce Harper followed with a triple to right, and scored when the ball went out of play on the throw to third.
- Harper added another run for the Phillies in the fifth with an RBI single.
- Joey Wendle reached on an infield single to lead off the bottom of the fifth, as J.T. Realmuto, primarily a catcher playing first base, was ruled to have not kept his foot on the bag. It appeared that he actually might have held the base, but the Phillies did not challenge. Velasquez then allowed a double and a single, with the single driving in Wendle. He was removed in favor of right-hander Tommy Hunter, who allowed one run on a fielder’s choice. Hunter escaped the inning with the Phillies up, 4-3.
- Hunter came back out to pitch the sixth. It seemed that he had struck out the last batter of the inning, but the pitch was called a ball by the home plate umpire to keep the inning alive for the Rays. Hunter subsequently surrendered a dead-center home run to Phillips, tying the game, 4-4.
- Rookie reliever Connor Brogdon pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for the Phillies, striking out the side in order.
- Didi Gregorius reached on a walk in the eighth. Jean Segura looked to have a base hit to right field with two outs that would have advanced Gregorius, but Rays second baseman Wendle made a running, over-the-shoulder catch to end the inning.
- Adam Morgan loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, and the Phillies brought in Héctor Neris with one out. He got Brandon Lowe to pop out, but gave up a two-RBI single to Wendle. That hit gave the Rays the lead, 6-4.
- Tampa Bay’s John Curtiss pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the win for the Rays.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Vince Velasquez: 4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR, 92 pitches.
It was a serviceable start for Velasquez, who had his ups and downs in this outing. The Phillies could have used some additional length from the right-hander, but that’s never been a strong suit for Velasquez. He did show some impressive flashes, but just couldn’t stay out of enough trouble to make this another really good start. Perhaps things would have shaken out differently for the starter if Wendle had been ruled out at first in the bottom of the fifth.
Charlie Morton: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER , 1 BB, 8 K, 0 HR, 93 pitches.
A rough third inning for Morton was when the Phillies did most of their damage. He also gave up a run in the fifth. It was a relatively short outing for the righty, but he still kept Tampa Bay in the game.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Joey Wendle
Wendle’s bases-loaded single in the eighth won the game for the Rays. He had the infield single and scored a run as well. He also made his presence known on defense with his running grab down the line.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Saturday, Sept. 26 vs. Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field, 7:07 p.m.
- SportsRadio 94WIP
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