After a pair of close losses to begin the series at Detroit’s Comerica Park, the bats came alive for our Philadelphia Phillies (26-21) in Wednesday’s game three en route to an 8-5 victory over the Tigers (23-23).
Phillies’ starter Aaron Nola wasn’t dominant, but did enough to get the win by giving up four earned runs and picking up six K’s in six innings of work.
The Phillies took the lead in the second inning thanks in part to a rare run-scoring double steal. Odubel Herrera made the score 5-1 with a three-run homer in the 4th, which was the 5th long ball of the year for the guy who seems to have solidly established himself as the team’s best overall hitter.
Nola gave up three runs in the bottom of the 5th which cut the Phils’ lead to one, but bounced back with a big 1-2-3 inning in the 6th to preserve the lead and turn the game over to the Phillies suddenly dominant back end of the bullpen.
Peter Bourjos knocked out his first homer of the season in the 7th, and Tommy Joseph and Andres Blanco added late inning RBI’s to cap the scoring for Philadelphia. Jeanmar Gomez worked a perfect 9th for his MLB leading 17th save.
Maikel Franco left the game in the 7th inning with an apparent mild ankle sprain after sliding into 2nd base. Franco said he expects to be ready to play this weekend, but manager Pete Mackanin said that he “anticipates being cautious with Franco over the next several days.”
- Despite losing two out of three, the Phillies still have a 4-2 record in interleague play thanks to the home sweep of the Indians at the beginning of the month.
- The Phillies remain one of only three teams in the league with a winning record and a negative run differential (-31). The others are the Kansas City Royals (-6), and Miami Marlins (-10).
- Neris’ quick-pitch strikeout drew some ire from Detroit’s Nick Castellanos. “That’s the first time I’ve been quick-pitched, probably since A ball,” Castellanos said. “It is what it is. I was frustrated that it happened. Usually, it’s been attempted, but it’s always been stopped. Usually, [umpires] give the hitter that courtesy, but just learn and move on.”
The Phillies now sit two games behind the division leading Washington Nationals as they head to Wrigley Field for a weekend series @ the Chicago Cubs, owners of MLB’s best record. The series will likely be a serious challenge, as the Cubs combine the best team ERA in the league with a top-five offense.
Friday’s game one features Philadelphia’s Adam Morgan (1-2, 5.61 ERA) taking the hill against Chicago’s Jon Lester (4-3, 2.60 ERA). First pitch is set for 2:20 p.m. EDT.