Yacksel Rios

Phillies make 1st wave of September call-ups

Phillies make 1st wave of September call-ups

Gabe Kapler has an expanded roster at his disposal, and it seems he’s going to make the most of it.

With rosters expanding Saturday, the Phillies recalled Aaron Altherr, Dylan Cozens and Yacksel Rios from Triple AAA Lehigh Valley. The team also activated relievers Edubray Ramos and Austin Davis off the 10-day DL and Pedro Florimon off the 60-day DL.

Jesmuel Valentin was designated for assignment. Mark Leiter Jr., who had been designated for assignment earlier this week, was claimed on waivers by the Blue Jays and is headed to Toronto.

Kapler hasn’t been hesitant to use his full bench and bullpen, and he now has a few more resources he can use.

All the players activated have spent time with the Phillies this season. Altherr was demoted in July after a disappointing start to the season. He hit just .171 in 248 plate appearances. He should provide another good defensive replacement and pinch-running option late in games, along with another powerful bat off the bench.

Cozens is 2 for 20 with 14 strikeouts at the major-league level. Like Altherr and recent addition Jose Bautista, he's an option who Kapler can turn to for power.

Florimon, who had been sidelined since May 18 with a broken foot, is a versatile defensive player. 

Rios, Ramos and Davis should give Kapler even more flexibility out of the bullpen.

After Friday night’s 2-1 win in 10 innings over the Cubs, the Phillies trail the Braves for first place in the NL East by two games with 28 games remaining. Seven of the Phillies’ final 11 games are against Atlanta.

This is the first wave of September call-ups for the Phillies. More moves could be coming later in the month once Lehigh Valley's playoff run ends. 

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Phillies use bats to rebound from debacle for doubleheader split with Mets

Phillies use bats to rebound from debacle for doubleheader split with Mets


The Phillies were able to flush a horrendous performance in the opener and come back and win the second game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets on Thursday night.

Zach Eflin pitched 6 2/3 innings and Rhys Hoskins clubbed a three-run homer to lead a 9-6 victory.

The win came on the heels of an ugly 24-4 loss in the first game. The Phillies made four errors in the game and their pitchers were charged with 11 unearned runs. The Mets had 11 extra-base hits in the opener, including three homers, against five Phillies pitchers, two of which were position players.

Phillies pitching held the Mets to nine hits in the nightcap. They had 25 in the opener.

By coming back and earning a split in the doubleheader, the second-place Phils were able to pick up a half-game on first-place Atlanta in the NL East standings. The Braves' lead is 1½ games. 

Things did not get off to a promising start in the second game as Eflin allowed three straight doubles and two runs to open the game.

The right-hander got things in order after that. He rattled off five straight scoreless innings before the Mets scored twice in the seventh and manager Gabe Kapler went to his bullpen. Luis Garcia and Victor Arano were effective and Seranthony Dominguez cleaned up a little mess in the ninth to close it out with a strikeout of dangerous Jose Bautista with two men on base and the Mets down by three.

Hoskins homered in the first game but also made a costly error in the Mets’ 10-run fifth inning.

After the Mets scored twice in the first inning of the second game, Hoskins clubbed a three-run homer against Steven Matz in the bottom of the inning to put the Phils ahead. They never relinquished the lead.

Hoskins has three homers in the last four games and 25 on the season.

Scott Kingery, who limbered up with some time on the mound in the first game, started at shortstop and clubbed a solo homer in the second inning.

The Phillies had 14 hits. Wilson Ramos had his second three-hit night in as many games since joining the club. Hoskins, Kingery, Nick Williams and Cesar Hernandez all had two apiece.

Eflin is 9-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 17 starts.

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Phillies' wild loss to Dodgers drops them into 1st-place tie in NL East

Phillies' wild loss to Dodgers drops them into 1st-place tie in NL East


There was some of that old life in the ballpark Monday night, you know the kind that used to fill Citizens Bank Park during the title days from 2007 to 2011.

But the electricity, fueled by a showdown between two first-place teams and the presence of Chase Utley back on the diamond where he starred for 13 seasons, did not translate into a victory for the Phillies. They lost, 7-6, to the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of a crowd of 33,753.

The loss dropped the Phils (55-44) back into a tie for the top spot in the NL East with victorious Atlanta. The Dodgers lead the NL West at 56-44.

Bullpen ace Seranthony Dominguez took the loss. He entered a tie game in the top of the ninth inning, faced five batters and retired just one. He walked three, allowed a single and was charged with a bases-loaded wild pitch that brought home the tie-breaking run. The wild pitch easily could have been scored a passed ball on catcher Jorge Alfaro.

Before the inning was over, Dominguez was charged with a second run when Luis Garcia gave up an RBI single to Matt Kemp to put the Dodgers up, 7-5. That run proved huge because the Phillies rallied for a run on a homer by Maikel Franco in the bottom of the ninth.

The home run came against Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers' All-Star closer. He settled down and got three outs for the save.

Dominguez walked the first batter of the ninth inning. He then gave up a hard-hit one-hop single through shortstop to Joc Pederson. The Phillies were in a defensive shift on the play. Had they been playing straight away, they might have had a shot at a double play.

The teams combined for eight home runs. The Dodgers hit four solo shots. Franco had two solo shots for the Phils. Odubel Herrera also had a solo homer and Rhys Hoskins had a three-run shot.

Hoskins’ homer — his third in as many games — came with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning and tied the game at 4-4. Herrera then followed with his homer to put the Phils ahead, 5-4. Both of the home runs came against Dodgers starter Ross Stripling.

Rookie lefty Austin Davis protected the lead in the sixth inning, but Tommy Hunter could not in the seventh. He gave up a one-out triple to right to Manny Machado and a game-tying sacrifice fly to Max Muncy. Muncy’s ball was not hit deep to center field and Machado made a daring base-running play in testing Herrera’s arm. Herrera appeared to briefly hesitate before making the throw home and Machado was able to dive across home plate ahead of the tag.

Hunter stayed on for the eighth and survived a two-out double by Chris Taylor by getting Utley on a hard-hit comebacker to the mound.

Zach Elfin, pitching for the first time in two weeks because of the All-Star break and a trip to the disabled list for a blister on his pitching hand, was clearly rusty. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings and allowed five hits and three walks. Three of the hits were solo home runs.

Eflin, who had pitched to a 2.32 ERA in his previous seven starts, left the game trailing, 3-1, and the Dodgers built their lead to 4-1 on a solo homer by Pederson against Yacksel Rios in the fourth. That was the only run that Rios gave up as he kept the game close until the Phillies could get to Stripling in the bottom of the fifth inning.

• Second baseman Cesar Hernandez did not start for the second game in a row. He fouled a ball off his right foot two weeks ago in Pittsburgh and it is still bothering him.

“It's been a little bit sore,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “We just want to kind of manage it. We are being cautious about this. He’ll most likely be back in there [Tuesday].”

• Roman Quinn continues to make his way back after having surgery to repair a ligament in his right middle finger in May. After playing for a few days in Clearwater, he was in the lineup at Double A Reading on Monday night. Quinn, a switch-hitting outfielder with lots of speed and the ability to play some infield, could be an option for a role on the Phillies’ bench very soon.

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