The Phillies allowed 10 runs in the top of the second inning but stormed back against the Braves on Sunday Night Baseball, falling just short of a historic comeback.
The Phils fell behind 10-0 but made it 10-7 within two innings. They scored six in the third inning, the biggest hits coming from Rhys Hoskins (two-run homer) and Didi Gregorius (two-run triple).
Gregorius also homered, as did Roman Quinn and Andrew McCutchen later in the game.
They had the tying run on base in the ninth inning but Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson erased it with a terrific double-play on a hard-hit ball to his right.
This offense is really, really, really good. The Phillies have averaged 5.51 runs per game, third-most in the majors and more than any team in the American League.
The back of the rotation is not, with Jake Arrieta struggling and Spencer Howard learning on the fly. Those two have allowed 28 runs in 38 innings.
The Phillies lost the game, 12-10, but won the series. They are 14-15, tied with the Marlins for second place and three games behind the Braves. The trade deadline is Monday at 4 p.m.
Joe Girardi was ejected by second base umpire Bill Welke in the top of the ninth inning after arguing a fair/foul call. It was Girardi’s first ejection as Phillies manager.
The game was 4 hours, 15 minutes.
Arrieta had a miserable night, recording four outs and allowing seven runs.
He has a 6.49 ERA on the season.
He’s averaged 4.8 innings over his last 19 starts.
He has a 4.44 ERA in 61 starts as a Phillie and the team has gone 29-32.
Arrieta’s early hook led the Phillies to turn to reliever David Hale, acquired last week from the Yankees. Hale entered and allowed a single, double and three-run homer within four batters.
Hoskins and McCutchen on fire
The baseball cliché “they come in bunches” applies as much to Hoskins as it does any power hitter. Once he starts hitting homers, he keeps hitting them for about a week.
Hoskins went deep Sunday night for the fourth time in his last six games. Both Hoskins and McCutchen homered and doubled in the game.
They’ve gotten hot as Bryce Harper (5 for his last 33) has cooled off.
Over their last 13 games, McCutchen and Hoskins have hit .333/.407/.648 with 14 extra-base hits, 26 RBI and 25 runs scored. Staggering production. The 1-2 is as locked in right now as the 3-4 of Harper and J.T. Realmuto was for the first three weeks.
It was almost enough offense for the Phillies to complete the sweep. It would have been the second time in franchise history the Phils came back to win after trailing by 10+ runs in the first or second inning of a game. They beat the Pirates 15-11 after falling behind 10-0 on June 8, 1989.
Gregorius, who homered in his first two games as a Phillie, still has not experienced a slump. He hasn’t gone two straight games without reaching base and hasn’t been held hitless more than two games in a row.
Unlike Harper, Gregorius does not have a track record of hitting lefties. But both extra-base hits Sunday came against left-hander Tommy Milone, giving Gregorius two triples and three homers against lefties this season. He’s slugged .571 against southpaws.
Sure looks like a player worth bringing back on a multi-year deal.
The Phillies are home for four games against the Nationals Monday through Thursday.
Two great pitching matchups are on tap: Aaron Nola vs. Patrick Corbin on Tuesday, Zack Wheeler vs. Max Scherzer on Wednesday.
At 12-19, the Nats have the second-worst record in the NL, ahead of only the Pirates.