Cameron Perkins

Rhys Hoskins — there's nothing he can't do — leads Phillies' home run barrage

Rhys Hoskins — there's nothing he can't do — leads Phillies' home run barrage

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Rhys Hoskins makes the best cheesesteak in town. He can run the Rocky steps in three seconds flat then knock out 50 push-ups at the top. One-handed. He can bench press the Liberty Bell, dunk on Joel Embiid and part traffic on the Schuylkill with a simple wave of his hand.

He is the most interesting man in Philadelphia. There is nothing he can't do.

And, on Thursday night, he became the first player in baseball history to be asked for his autograph in the dugout ... by a teammate ... during the game.

"He's creating history," said Cameron Perkins, who approached Hoskins with a ball in the dugout and requested an autograph after the rookie slugger belted his nightly homer in the Phillies' 10-0 demolition of the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park (see observations).

"What he's doing is ridiculous. It's fun to watch. It's still underappreciated. I don't think everybody understands how hard it is to do that over and over again."

Hoskins has been with the Phillies since Aug. 10 for a total of 34 games and 118 at-bats. He has 18 home runs, which is just three shy of the team lead held by Tommy Joseph. With 16 games left, he stands an excellent chance of leading the club in home runs — remarkable considering he did not hit his first home run until Aug. 14.

He hit four of them in the Phillies' three-game sweep of the Marlins. The Phillies won the first game in 15 innings then outscored the Marlins, 18-1, over the next two games.

Hoskins is now rivaling Carson Wentz as the hottest autograph in town, so hot that his teammates playfully ask for them in the dugout.

"It's fun," Hoskins said. "I don't think hitting a home run is ever not going to be fun — for everyone. When someone hits a home run, it gives the team a little jolt, a little spark of energy and obviously the long ball was good to us tonight."

Indeed, the Phillies hit four of them — three against Miami's Vance Worley in the second inning.

Jorge Alfaro hit a rising line drive into the second deck in left (459 feet) and Freddy Galvis hit one 414 feet to left-center before Hoskins smacked a two-run shot, his first to the opposite field (see video).

"That was fun," manager Pete Mackanin said of the entire night. "Alfaro hit that bomb, Freddy hit a two-run dinger and Hoskins hit another blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."

Clearly, Mackanin is running out of words to describe Hoskins' home run frenzy, which started with 29 in 115 games at Triple A Lehigh Valley.

But Perkins, a teammate of Hoskins in the minors and now in the majors, is not running out of words.

"I know you guys are new to this because he hasn't been up here, but I've been playing with him all year and this is the exact same thing as spring training and Lehigh Valley," Perkins said. "He's so good at putting quality at-bats together even when he gets out or strikes out. He sees a bunch of pitches or he'll walk. He's a very special hitter. He makes it look easy. Sometimes it can be frustrating to watch him because it's hit, hit, hit, hit. It's so hard and he makes it look so easy. He's a very good, very smart hitter."

Perkins came off the bench and hit the Phillies' fourth home run as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. His first big-league homer came against Miami lefty Justin Nicolino and he received a celebratory water-cooler dousing after the game.

"That was pretty cool," Hoskins said. "He put a good swing on it. I heard a couple of guys say they thought he was going to do it on that at-bat. The couple years I played with him he has hit lefties pretty well, so that was a special moment. I'm happy for him. It's something that he’ll always remember."

Perkins confirmed that.

"It's the moment I've been waiting for my entire life," said Perkins, a rookie who will turn 27 later this month. "Everyone wants the dream of having the cooler dumped on them, even though it wasn't as significant as I'd hope in a 9-0 game. But I'll still take it. Everyone dreams of hitting that walk-off home run. But getting the cooler dumped on you and finally getting one is definitely a dream come true."

Perkins will work on getting the ball as a souvenir.

He has a plan.

"If I have to bargain, I'll get Rhys to sign some balls," he said. "I'm sure the person who caught my home run ball would love Rhys' autograph. I'm going to need some of those."

Today's Lineup: Rhys Hoskins sits day after getting hit by pitch

Today's Lineup: Rhys Hoskins sits day after getting hit by pitch

The Phillies' hottest hitter will not be in the lineup for Sunday afternoon's finale in Miami vs. Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins.

Rhys Hoskins will get the afternoon off after he was hit on the right hand by a 97-mph fastball by Marlins reliever Bryan Ellington. X-rays came back negative for the 24-year-old, who's batting .318 with 12 homers and 27 RBIs since his early August call-up, but Pete Mackanin has decided to give him a breather anyway. Hoskins drilled his 12th homer run of the season last night before leaving the game. He's hit safely in 13 of his last 14 contests.

Tommy Joseph will start at first and move back into the cleanup spot for the Phils today. Joseph also went yard last night, bashing his 20th homer of the season. He's made an impact at the plate over his last 10 games as he's batted .317 with four home runs, three doubles and eight RBIs in that span. He's also hit safely in eight of those games. He's historically crushed Marlins pitching as he's batting .351 against the Fish with eight homers and 17 RBIs, both of which are his most against any team.

After Pedro Florimon suffered a gruesome ankle injury last night, Cameron Perkins has again been recalled and will get the start in center for today's matinee. He'll bat eighth. He's hitting just .177 in 36 games with the Phils this season.

Jorge Alfaro will be back behind the plate and will catch Jake Thompson, who was recalled earlier in the week. Thompson is 1-1 on the season with a 5.40 in six appearances, three of which were starts. His last outing came two weeks ago at Citizens Bank Park against the Marlins, and it didn't go so well as he allowed five runs on seven hits over five innings in an eventual no-decision. The Phils would lose the game, 9-8.

Thompson will be opposed by Marlins righty Jose Urena. He's been impressive this season with a 12-6 record and 3.84 ERA, but he is coming off a loss to the Nationals last week when he only lasted four innings and gave up four runs in the process. He pitched against the Phils two weeks ago and came away with a win as he gave up three runs on three hits over five innings of work.

Both teams' lineups for today's series finale can be found below:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Nick Williams, RF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Maikel Franco, 3B
6. Hyun Soo Kim, LF
7. Jorge Alfaro, C
8. Cameron Perkins, CF
9. Jake Thompson, P

Marlins
1. Derek Dietrich, 2B
2. Giancarlo Stanton, RF
3. Christian Yelich, CF
4. Marcell Ozuna, LF
5. Brian Anderson, 3B
6. Tomas Telas, 1B
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Miguel Rojas, SS
9. Jose Urena, P

Today's lineup: Pedro Florimon gets first start; Rhys Hoskins back at 1B

phillies-today-lineup-2014.jpg
CSN

Today's lineup: Pedro Florimon gets first start; Rhys Hoskins back at 1B

Prior to last night, not much had worked for Pete Mackanin on this California road trip.

Every lineup twist and combination he threw out there came up fruitless as the Phillies were winless on the swing.

But something clicked last night, as the offense exploded for 12 runs and the Phils earned their first victory of the trip.

So Mackanin is sticking with what worked, including keeping veteran Pedro Florimon in the lineup.

Florimon, a 30-year-old veteran who was called up from Lehigh Valley earlier this week, gets the nod in left field today and bats seventh in the series finale against the Giants. It'll be his first start with the Phils. It's his first MLB start since he started at shortstop for the Pirates in last year's season finale against the Cardinals.

Florimon came into last night's game in the fifth inning and proceeded to smoke an RBI double that gave the Phils a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning.

Rhys Hoskins will be back at his natural first base spot and bat third today. Hoskins launched another dinger last night, a three-run shot to left in the top of the third. It was his fourth homer of the year and he became the first Phillies player to hit four homers in his first 10 games.

Jorge Alfaro and Cameron Perkins will also stick in the lineup for today's Bay Area finale.

Alfaro had a night to forget last night, going 1 for 5 with three punchouts. But he'll catch and bat fifth. Perkins went 2 for 4 with an RBI in Saturday's win. He'll be in right and bat eighth.

The Phils will send Ben Lively to the mound today for his first MLB start since July 5, a 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh at Citizens Bank Park. Lively is 1-4 on the season with a 3.80 ERA in seven starts. His only win of the year came against these same Giants during his first career start on June 3. That day, Lively tossed seven innings of one-run ball to earn the victory.

San Francisco counters today with ace lefty Madison Bumgarner, who's only made 11 starts this season as he missed a few months with shoulder and rib injuries suffered in an April dirt bike accident. Bumgarner is 3-5 on the year with a 2.99 ERA. He's 4-3 in his regular-season career vs. the Phils with a 3.60 ERA in nine starts.

Both team's lineups for Sunday's matinee can be found below:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Jorge Alfaro, C
6. Nick Williams, CF
7. Pedro Florimon, LF
8. Cameron Perkins, RF
9. Ben Lively, SP

Giants
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Kelby Tomlinson, 2B
3. Jarrett Parker, LF
4. Buster Posey, C
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
6. Brandon Crawford, SS
7. Ryder Jones, 1B
8. Carlos Moncrief, RF
9. Madison Bumgarner, SP