Three weeks ago, it looked as if Alec Bohm might not even make the Phillies' opening day roster.
Two weeks ago, it looked like his season could unravel practically before it even began.
Now, he's one of their best players.
Funny game, as Charlie Manuel used to say.
The Phillies rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-2, at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.
Bohm keyed the rally with a two-run single to knock home the tying and go-ahead runs.
The 25-year-old third baseman also made a huge defensive play in the first inning to help bail Ranger Suarez out of a bases-loaded jam.
All in all, it was just another outstanding, bounce-back night for Bohm, who struggled at the plate in spring training then made three errors at third base in the fourth game of the season.
"The way he has responded has shown us a lot of maturity," manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm not sure he would have responded that way last year. Sometimes, you know, you have to get knocked down a little bit to figure out how to get back up and he's done that.
"More impressive than the hit was the play in the first inning. That is a really tough play and if it gets by him, who knows how many runs they score in the first inning.
"He's playing really well on both sides of the ball. I give him a lot of credit for what he's done and how he's gone about his business and waited for his turn and took advantage of it."
Bohm chuckled when approached by reporters after the game. Talking about a three-run rally in the eighth sure beat talking about a three-error game.
What a couple of weeks.
"It's been eventful for sure," he said. "But it's been great, a lot of fun. I wish we could have won a few more games in that span but we're getting going here and we want to keep this momentum going."
The Phillies have won two straight games for the first time since Games 1 and 2 of the season. They are 6-8.
Bohm's big hit was one of five singles that the Phillies had in the eighth inning. Johan Camargo followed Bohm's hit with an RBI single to make it a two-run game.
Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and J.T. Realmuto also had base hits in the inning. The hits by Harper and Castellanos were on 0-2 pitches. Realmuto hit a 1-2 pitch, Bohm a 2-2 pitch.
"I just tried to do what the guys in front of me were doing," Bohm said. "Put together a good at-bat and keep the line moving."
Bohm's two-run single left him with nine RBIs in 25 at-bats this season. Only Harper (11) has more RBIs on the roster. Bohm is hitting .440 (11 for 25). He has struck out just twice in 33 plate appearances. For his career, he is 48 for 146 (.329) with runners in scoring position.
After the Phils took the lead in the eighth, Corey Knebel closed it out for his third save in as many chances.
Earlier in the game, the Phillies tried to beat themselves. They made a couple of mistakes that allowed the Brewers to take an extra base. Both mistakes -- an uncovered base and a wild pitch -- eventually led to runs and a 2-1 Milwaukee lead in the seventh inning.
Suarez went 4⅔ innings and allowed just one run in his third start of the season. He survived four hits and three walks and pitched out of a no-outs, bases-loaded jam in the first.
Girardi removed Suarez with two outs in the fifth in a 1-1 game. The move was understandable as there was a runner on base with right-handed-hitting Hunter Renfroe due up. Suarez was at 89 pitches, 11 more than he'd thrown in a start this season, so Girardi went to the right-hander Seranthony Dominguez. He got Renfroe looking to end the frame.
Dominguez stayed on for the sixth and recorded a 1-2-3 inning.
Jose Alvarado came on in the seventh and was an adventure in a tie game. He got ahead of the first batter of the inning, Mike Brosseau, with two quick strikes then lost him to a walk. The next batter, Victor Caratini, singled. Both runners moved up when Alvarado uncorked a wild pitch. The advancements proved costly as Andrew McCutchen lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to break the 1-1 tie.
Alvarado already has three wild pitches in 5⅔ innings this season.
The Brewers' first run, in the third inning, was also a gift. Willy Adames walked and went all the way to third on a groundout to the right side. The Phillies were in a shift with third base vacated. Adames saw the empty bag and never stopped running.
For the third straight game, Girardi used the same hitters in the top seven spots of the batting order. Jean Segura led off, followed by Rhys Hoskins, Harper, Castellanos, Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber and Bohm. Harper, Castellanos and Realmuto were a combined 6 for 11 in the game.
Girardi said he will try to stick with this basic lineup for a while.
"We're going to try to keep it consistent," he said. "We want to try to leave it and let guys get comfortable with where they're at. These guys are professional hitters. They know they need to perform so make 'em comfortable. Obviously there will be days when someone isn't in there and I'll have to finagle a little, but I'll try to keep it as consistent as I can.
"I believe hitters like to know where they'll be every day."
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