Phillies

Phillies-Athletics observations: Henderson Alvarez's debut, Rhys Hoskins hitless again in loss

BOX SCORE

A local kid did in the Phillies on Sunday.

Joey Wendle, who starred at West Chester University and Avon Grove High School, belted a go-ahead grand slam off Edubray Ramos in the sixth inning to lead the Oakland Athletics to a 6-3 victory. 

It was the second career homer for the 27-year-old Wendle, coming one year to the day after he went deep against Yu Darvish in Texas. 

The second baseman’s blast to right in front of family and friends at Citizens Bank Park spoiled a decent return to the big leagues for former All-Star right-hander Henderson Alvarez. 

Maikel Franco went 3 for 4 and drove in two runs for the Phillies, who dropped two of three in the series. 

Chad Pinder and Matt Olson hit back-to-back homers in the fourth against Alvarez, who threw a no-hitter for the Marlins in 2013 and was an All-Star a year later before multiple shoulder surgeries. He hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since May 22, 2015. 

• Alvarez (0-1) went five-plus innings and left with a 3-2 lead after giving up a walk and single to lead off the sixth. He was charged with four runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. He certainly pitched well enough to earn another start as he auditions for a 2018 job. 

• Alvarez became the 31st player to pitch for the Phillies this season, a new record besting the 30 hurlers in 2015. 

• Relying on a fastball that topped out at 93 mph, Alvarez looked smooth while retiring the first five batters. He didn’t allow a hit until Marcus Semien’s two-out double in the third. 

• Pinder crushed Alvarez’s hanging curve for his 15th homer to lead off the fourth and Olson followed by homering to right on a 91 mph fastball to tie it at 2. 

• Olson certainly out-Hoskined Rhys Hoskins in the series. The rookie homered in all three games and has 21 in 53 games compared to 18 in 37 games for Hoskins. Olson has four homers in five games, six in eight and 13 in 19. He has hit 10 in September. 

• Hoskins flung his bat in disgust after flying out to right against Sean Manaea (11-10) in the fifth. He was 0 for 5 with three strikeouts and fanned six times while going 0 for 11 in the series. 

• Left-hander Hoby Milner replaced Alvarez with two on and nobody out in the sixth and struck out Olson to extend his streak of scoreless appearances to 21 games (see story)

• Ramos (2-8) replaced Milner and struck out Matt Chapman and walked Mark Canha to load the bases before Wendle crushed a first-pitch slider. 

• The A’s showed why they’re the worst defensive team in baseball. Chapman had two errors at third base to boost the A’s MLB-high total to 118. Chapman booted Aaron Altherr’s two-out grounder in the first that led to two unearned runs. 

• J.P. Crawford, who drove in two runs while playing third base Saturday, started at shortstop as Freddy Galvis was out of the starting lineup for the second time in three games. Crawford moved up to second in the order and went 0 for 2 with three walks. 

• Aaron Altherr was back in center field after resting his hamstring Saturday and hit cleanup. Manager Pete Mackanin inserted him between Hoskins and Nick Williams. 

• Alvarez began the game with almost all fastballs — until throwing a 53.6 mph Eephus pitch to Olson in the second that was taken for a ball. 

• The Phillies, before the game, honored A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich. He’s been with the team 50 years, joining the club just 13 years after it left Philadelphia. The only other person to be the franchise longer: Connie Mack. 

• Former Phillies star Chase Utley returns to town Monday night with the major league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers to start a four-game series. Utley had three doubles in the past two games and was hitting .234 with eight homers before a Sunday night game at Washington. 

• Pitching matchups for the Dodgers series: Monday: LH Clayton Kershaw (17-3, 2.12 ERA) vs RH Nick Pivetta (5-10, 6.75). Tuesday: RH Yu Darvish (9-12, 4.08) vs. RH Aaron Nola (11-10, 3.60). Wednesday: LH Alex Wood (15-3, 2.69) vs. RH Jake Thompson (2-2, 4.46). Thursday: RH Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.21) vs. RH Mark Leiter Jr. (3-6, 4.93).