The Phillies rallied for a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat one of the best pitchers in baseball Thursday night. Pinch-hitter Ty Kelly doubled home Andrew Knapp for the game's only run to give the Phillies a 1-0 win over the Boston Red Sox and lefty Chris Sale, the majors' strikeout leader.
The win snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Phillies. Three of those losses came against the Red Sox in the first three games of the home-and-home series.
The Phillies had just three baserunners (two hits and a walk) against Sale in the first 7 1/3 innings. Knapp singled with one out and scored on Kelly's double to left. Third base coach Juan Samuel was waving Knapp the whole way and Boston leftfielder Andrew Benintendi missed the cutoff man. Two nights earlier, Samuel waved home Howie Kendrick and Benintendi gunned him down to help the Red Sox win.
Pat Neshek got the win in relief. Nick Pivetta had his best start in the majors.
The Phils are 22-43, worst in the majors.
Starting pitching report
Pivetta was outstanding in his seventh big-league start. He delivered seven shutout innings, gave up four hits, two walks and struck out nine. The right-hander's control was much improved. He has walked 16 in his first six starts.
Sale (8-3) gave up just four hits and a run. He walked one and struck out 10. It was his ninth double-digit strikeout game of the season. Sale entered the game having won seven straight decisions.
Neshek had arguably his best inning of the season in putting up a zero in the top of the eighth. He allowed a leadoff double to Sale then proceeded to get three outs, the last two with Sale at third base. He struck out No. 2 hitter Dustin Pedroia for the second out and got Xander Bogaerts to pop out to first base for the third out. Neshek has pitched 25 innings this season and allowed just two runs.
Hector Neris got the save.
At the plate
Kelly and Knapp were the two offensive stars.
Tommy Joseph upped his hitting streak to 11 games.
In the field
Second baseman Kendrick made a brilliant diving play on a bases-loaded groundball up the middle by Sale to end the top of the second and save at least two runs behind Pivetta.
Leftfielder Daniel Nava cut down a runner at the plate to end the top of the fifth and keep the scored tied at 0-0.
The Phillies open a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night. Here are the pitching matchups:
Friday night — RHP Aaron Nola (3-4, 4.40) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (5.6, 5.38)
Saturday afternoon — RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-7, 5.09) vs. RHP Zack Godley (2-1, 2.44)
Sunday afternoon — RHP Ben Lively (1-1, 3.00) vs. LHP Robbie Ray (7-3, 2.62).