Phillies

Best of MLB: Max Scherzer helps Nationals overpower Marlins in return from DL

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Best of MLB: Max Scherzer helps Nationals overpower Marlins in return from DL

WASHINGTON -- Max Scherzer overpowered Giancarlo Stanton, Howie Kendrick hit a three-run triple and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 11-2 on Monday night.

Scherzer (13-5) allowed one run and five hits, including Christian Yelich's home run, and had 10 strikeouts in his return from the 10-day disabled list.

Stanton, named NL Player of the Week for the second time this month on Monday, went 0 for 3 against Scherzer with two strikeouts and a groundball double play one day after becoming the first NL player to hit 50 home runs in a season since Prince Fielder in 2007.

Jayson Werth had a two-run homer off Jose Urena (12-6) in his first game with the Nationals since suffering a left foot contusion on June 5.

Matt Wieters added a two-run single in the decisive sixth for an 11-1 lead as Washington halted Miami's four-game winning streak.

Stanton batted .448 (13 for 29) with five home runs and 11 RBI last week. His 17 homers in August are one shy of the major league record of 18 set by Rudy York in 1937. The slugger didn't hit the ball out of the infield against Scherzer (see full recap).

Kluber outduels Severino in Indians’ win
NEW YORK -- Corey Kluber outpitched Luis Severino in a marquee matchup of All-Stars, and slumping Jose Ramirez homered twice to power the Cleveland Indians past the New York Yankees 6-2 on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

Carlos Santana hit a tiebreaking homer off Severino in the seventh inning and Austin Jackson also went deep for the AL Central leaders, who increased their cushion to seven games over idle Minnesota.

Coming off three consecutive shutouts in a sweep of Kansas City, the defending AL champions ran their scoreless streak to 30 innings before Chase Headley homered against Kluber (13-4) leading off the third. The 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner went eight innings and allowed only three hits, rebounding from a loss to Boston last week that ended a five-game winning streak and marked his first defeat since July 4.

Kluber struck out seven and walked one as the Indians (74-56) won for the 14th time in 18 games (see full recap).

Jones HR helps surging Orioles beat Mariners
BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones hit a milestone home run, Welington Castillo had three hits and two RBIs and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Seattle Mariners 7-6 Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

Chris Davis doubled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning for the resurgent Orioles, who climbed over .500 (66-65) for the first time since June 11. Baltimore jumped past Seattle (66-66) to within 1 games of idle Minnesota for the final AL wild-card spot.

Jones' solo home run in the fifth inning gave him 25 for an Orioles-record seventh consecutive season. He shared the mark of six with Cal Ripken Jr.

Ben Gamel homered and had a career-high five RBIs in Seattle's third straight defeat.

With the score tied at 6, Trey Mancini led off the Baltimore seventh with a single off Emilio Pagan (1-3) and Davis followed with a liner into the right-field corner (see full recap).

Rhys Hoskins on 'surreal' rookie year, position switch, expectations

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Rhys Hoskins on 'surreal' rookie year, position switch, expectations

For a couple of weeks in August, Rhys Hoskins might have been Philadelphia's most popular athlete. Fans marveled at the nightly power display that the young slugger put on in the middle of the Phillies' batting order. Carson Wentz and the Eagles had not yet begun their magnificent season. Hoskins was the man in town.

It hit him one night after a game. He stopped in Center City for some late-night eats. A man and his young son approached. They offered their congratulations and asked for an autograph.

"That's when I was like, 'OK, this might be something that's about to be part of my life,' " Hoskins said. "But it was cool because I used to be that kid."

Hoskins was back in the area Monday night for the 114th Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Dinner. He was honored with a special achievement award for a torrid major league debut in which he clubbed 18 homers and drove in 48 runs in just 50 games last season.

Hoskins was raised in Sacramento, California but moved to San Diego this offseason. His 18 homers in 2017 were the most ever hit by a player who did not make his season debut until after Aug. 1. Hall of Famer Ted Williams, who hit 13 homers after returning from the Korean War in 1953, was the previous record holder.

Williams was a San Diego native.

"Surreal," Hoskins said of that 50-game stretch last season and the buzz that has followed him into the offseason. "Indescribable."

He is now a recognizable face, a signature talent, in a sports-crazy town.

And he's ready for it.

"Enjoy it," he said. "Take it by storm and enjoy it. It's supposed to be fun and that's probably the best approach to take. I think my thought is what happened may never happen again. Tomorrow something might happen. Tomorrow I might never be able to step on a baseball field again. So I think you have to take it by storm and enjoy it.

"If you had asked me a year ago if I would be walking down the streets of Philadelphia and would people recognize me I'd probably laugh at you. But that’s where we are now.

"It's just a testament to how passionate the people of Philadelphia are and how much they love their sports."

Hoskins will report to Clearwater for spring training at the end of this month. He wants to get a head start so he can ramp up his workouts in left field. A first baseman by trade, he began playing the position occasionally last season. He will move there full-time in 2018 as newly signed Carlos Santana takes over at first base.

Hoskins got a 30-game taste of left field last year. He is OK with the move.

"Having Carlos is exciting for the city and exciting for the team," Hoskins said. "We add a guy who has proven himself in this league for five or six years at a very high level so to kind of insert that into the lineup and into the clubhouse, especially with such a young team — I think we're going to feel that exponentially throughout the year.

"Left field is a challenge. It's a challenge that I'm definitely excited about. I started to feel more comfortable out there toward the end of the year.

"I think I can be just fine out there. I'm not necessarily going to be a Gold Glover. I just don’t have the speed that some guys out there do, especially in today's game. But I think I'll be just fine and contribute to the team defensively as much as I can and make the plays that I'm supposed to."

Hoskins will turn 25 on March 17. He projects to bat cleanup in new manager Gabe Kapler's lineup.

"He's energized, intense and thorough," Hoskins said of the new skipper. "He can captivate a room. I'm curious to see how that dynamic works in the clubhouse. I think he's going to be a pretty exciting guy to work with."

Phillies sign 3 to clear up arbitration cases

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Phillies sign 3 to clear up arbitration cases

Updated: 3:15 p.m.

The Phillies wrapped up all of their potential salary arbitration cases when they agreed to 2018 contracts with infielders Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco and relief pitcher Luis Garcia on Friday.

Earlier in the week, the team agreed on a contract with catcher Cameron Rupp.

Those were the club's only arbitration-eligible players.

Hernandez, a second-time arbitration-eligible player, will make $5.1 million in 2018, up from $2.55 million last season. 

Franco and Garcia were both eligible for salary arbitration for the first time.

Franco will make $2.95 million, up from $560,000 last season. The 25-year-old third baseman had a disappointing season in 2017, hitting just .230 with a .281 on-base percentage. He did hit a team-high 24 home runs.

Franco has great potential and club management will be looking for him to put it together in 2018. But even a strong season from Franco probably won't sway the club away from making a run at Manny Machado, who is scheduled to hit the free-agent market next winter.

Garcia, who turns 31 later this month, will make $1.2 million in 2018, up from $550,000 last year.

Back in October, new manager Gabe Kapler mentioned Garcia as a player who had caught his attention. Consistency had long eluded the hard-throwing right-hander but he found it in 2017 and had his best season. He added a splitter to his power fastball-slider mix and posted a 2.65 ERA in 66 games. He gave up just four earned runs in 22⅓ innings over his final 23 games, and three of those runs came in one outing.

Hernandez, the team's 27-year-old second baseman, has been one of the Phils' top players the last two seasons. He hit .294 and posted a .372 on-base percentage over that span.

The Phils are deep at second base and top prospect Scott Kingery is expected to be ready to arrive in the majors during the first half of the 2018 season. With Kingery coming, there is a chance the Phils could cash in on Hernandez's value and trade him for pitching sometime between now and Kingery's expected arrival.

Hernandez will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season.

Hernandez's former double-play mate, Freddy Galvis, was traded to San Diego in December. Rookie J.P. Crawford will move in at shortstop in 2018. Galvis settled his potential arbitration case with the Padres on Friday when he agreed to a one-year deal worth $6.825 million.

Rupp, who was eligible for arbitration for the first time, will make $2.05 million in 2018. He is one of three catchers on the 40-man roster along with Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp. Alfaro is out of minor-league options and will be given the chance to be the team's No. 1 catcher in April.