One day after standing pat at the trade deadline, the Phillies exploded for their largest run output of the year thanks in large part to Aaron Altherr and the top three in Pete Mackanin’s batting order.
The 13-8 win over the San Francisco Giants didn’t come easy, though.
The Phillies had a 6-0, second-inning lead evaporate by the fifth inning when Zach Eflin finally unraveled.
They had the Giants homer their way to an 8-7 lead by the top of the sixth inning only to fight back in the bottom of the frame to tie the game again.
Then they had the top of their order save them.
In the bottom of the eighth, with the score still tied at 8-8, Altherr registered his third hit and fifth RBI of the night, a two-run single up the middle with the San Francisco infield playing in.
That set the stage for the crushing blow, Cameron Rupp’s three-run blast off Sergio Romo to give the game its final score.
The top three in the Phillies' order — Cesar Hernandez, Altherr and Maikel Franco — went 11 for 14 with nine RBIs and seven runs scored.
Starting pitching report
Eflin was looking to bounce back from a rough start last week in Miami. And early on he was doing that, pitching effectively out of some trouble in the first and second innings, though he needed 41 pitches to do so.
After his offense staked him a 6-0 lead, Eflin got the big shutdown inning he needed in the third. And, after allowing a leadoff homer to Brandon Crawford to start the fourth, he shut the Giants down relatively quietly to end the fourth inning with the Phillies still ahead, 6-1.
But in the fifth, Eflin unraveled with two outs.
Two-out singles from Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence put two runners on for Buster Posey, who worked a full count before taking a fastball that looked like a borderline strike for ball four. That loaded the bases for Crawford, who knocked a two-run single up the middle.
Eflin, who had thrown 97 pitches, was allowed to stay in the game and immediately gave up a game-tying, three-run home run to Brandon Belt.
Eflin allowed six hits, six runs and walked three. His ERA jumped to 4.77.
Luis Garcia, recalled earlier Tuesday from Lehigh Valley (see story), replaced Eflin in the sixth inning after the Phillies regained a 7-6 lead in the bottom half of the fifth. After walking Madison Bumgarner to start the inning, Garcia got a pop out and a fielder’s choice groundout that put Denard Span on first base with two outs.
But then Pagan launched a go-ahead, two-run shot off Garcia, who pitched in just that one inning before giving way to Edubray Ramos for the seventh inning, who entered the game with the score tied at eight apiece.
Ramos allowed one hit and struck out a pair in his one inning of work.
Hector Neris pitched a clean eighth inning, working around one hit.
Jeanmar Gomez, in a non-save situation, pitched a scoreless ninth to end the game.
At the plate
The Phillies couldn’t have asked for a better start to Tuesday’s game. Their Nos. 1 through 3 hitters were 6 for 6 in the first two innings.
Altherr launched a Bumgarner slider the opposite way to open the score and give the Phillies and Eflin a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Altherr came to the plate again in the second inning and delivered a two-out, RBI single that scored Tyler Goeddel and put Hernandez at second base. That set up a line-drive home run off the bat of Franco, his 20th of the season. It gave the Phillies a 6-0 lead that eventually evaporated.
Franco became the first Phillies third baseman to hit 20 home runs since Scott Rolen hit 25 in 2001.
The Phillies knocked Bumgarner around to the tune of 10 hits and eight runs (four earned) in just five innings, Bumgarner’s shortest outing since April 15.
Franco later doubled and scored on a Tommy Joseph RBI single in the bottom of the fifth that put the Phillies ahead, 7-6.
Franco’s RBI single tied the game back up at eight in the bottom of the sixth.
With the score still tied at eight, Odubel Herrera — who didn’t start — reached on a pinch-hit, infield single off newly acquired Giants reliever, Will Smith, with one out in the bottom of the eighth. That was followed by Hernandez’s fourth hit of the game, a double off the right-field wall to put two runners in scoring position.
The Giants went to Romo with Altherr at the plate, and Altherr’s two-run single gave the Phillies the lead, 10-8, before Rupp’s three-run home run put the game away.
In the field
A throwing error by Freddy Galvis opened the game on the wrong foot for the Phillies.
Joseph snared a Crawford chopper to end the threat later in the first inning, saving Galvis’ blunder.
Joseph later made a diving catch off the bat of Joe Panik to end the top of the seventh.
Giants third baseman Eduardo Nunez committed an error that allowed Goeddel to reach base to kick off the second inning. The Phillies went on to score four runs with two outs.
The Phillies and Giants do it again Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m., with Aaron Nola (6-9, 4.78 ERA) taking on Johnny Cueto (9-7, 4.30).
The series concludes Thursday afternoon (1:05 p.m.).