Phillies

Diamondbacks 13, Phillies 8: Arizona belts 8 homers to drop Phillies into first-place tie

Diamondbacks 13, Phillies 8: Arizona belts 8 homers to drop Phillies into first-place tie

BOX SCORE

The Arizona Diamondbacks came into Citizens Bank Park on Monday night and put on a power display that left the Phillies bruised, battered and headed the wrong way in the National League East standings.

The Phillies' embarrassing 13-8 loss dropped them into a first-place tie in the division with the surging Atlanta Braves. Both teams are 37-29.

The Phillies, who have lost seven of their last 11 games, had held sole possession of first place since April 26.

The Diamondbacks opened the game with three straight home runs against Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff and hit eight in all, a club record that equaled the most ever hit against the Phils in a game at CBP.

The Phillies had never before given up three consecutive homers to open a game.

The keys

• Arizona had five hits against Eickhoff in four-plus innings. They were all home runs.

• After Eickhoff was tagged for three straight solo homers to open the game, the Phils got big hits from Jean Segura (first-inning homer), Scott Kingery (second-inning triple) and Rhys Hoskins (third-inning RBI single) to tie the game. It did not stay tied long as Eickhoff gave up a pair of two-run homers in the fourth. Both homers were preceded by walks.

• Though it did not affect the outcome, Kingery homered twice to the opposite field. He also tripled. He entered the game just 1 for 10 on the homestand.

• The two teams combined for a major-league record 13 homers. The Phillies hit five, three in the final two innings of a blowout. Jay Bruce hit his fifth in a week with the team.

Eickhoff's night

The right-hander fell to 3-4 and his ERA rose from 4.14 to 5.02.

He has been tagged for 16 home runs and 27 runs over his last six starts. The Diamondbacks did damage against his fastball, his curveball and his slider.

Bombs away

Phillies pitchers have given up 108 home runs, far and away the most in the National League, and they are on their way to blowing past the team record of 221 set in 2017.

Love this place

The Diamondbacks are 10-1 in their last 11 games at CBP and they have hit 28 homers in those games.

An oddity

The Phils successfully challenged back-to-back base-running plays in the third inning. Both times, Jean Segura was ruled safe after initially being called out.

Health check

Seranthony Dominguez will see orthopedist James Andrews later this week for a second opinion on his ailing right elbow. Dominguez has ligament damage in the elbow and will likely require Tommy John surgery that will keep him out well into next season.

Outfielder Roman Quinn has recovered from his groin strain. He is slated to play nine innings for Single A Clearwater on Tuesday. The Phillies have not put a timetable on his return, but the feeling is he could be back soon.

Transaction

The Phillies picked up a big chunk of international bonus money in a minor-league trade

Up next

The series continues Tuesday night with Jake Arrieta (5-5, 4.29) facing Arizona rookie right-hander Jon Duplantier (1-0, 3.27).

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At the Yard podcast: Phillies takeaways from the GM Meetings

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At the Yard podcast: Phillies takeaways from the GM Meetings

Jim Salisbury relays the juiciest info — Phillies and leaguewide — from MLB's GM Meetings in Arizona. Check out the latest At the Yard podcast.

• Scott Boras immediately makes his presence felt

• Biggest takeaways from the GM Meetings

• Phillies interested in Mike Moustakas

• Surveying the third base landscape

• Gerrit Cole, Cole Hamels and more

• Odubel Herrera update

• Gabe Kapler's rocky road to acceptance in San Francisco

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What about Odubel Herrera, the Phillies’ forgotten man?

What about Odubel Herrera, the Phillies’ forgotten man?

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Odubel Herrera, the Phillies’ forgotten man, is working out in Miami as he seeks to restart his career after an 85-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

But can the Phillies, given all that has happened, actually ever put him back on the field again?

“I don't know the answer to that. I really don't,” general manager Matt Klentak said at this week’s annual general managers meetings. “I think the best thing I could say there is, because the landscape has changed, he's going to have to earn whatever he gets. He doesn't walk back in as the opening day center fielder. 

“Right now, he’s on the 40-man roster and under contract so if camp started tomorrow, he would be there. What happens between now and February? I don’t know.”

Herrera, who turns 28 next month, was the Phillies’ starting center fielder for four-plus seasons before his suspension for an incident in May, and he has two years and more than $20 million remaining on his contract. When Major League Baseball and the Players Association forged its joint policy on domestic violence, both sides agreed that a player violating the policy could not have his contract voided. To move on from Herrera, the Phillies would have to eat the remainder of his salary and prove that they were releasing him for purely baseball reasons.

If you listen closely, you can almost hear Klentak building that case.

“I think the most important thing to recognize with Odubel is the situation that he left in the spring when he was suspended and the situation he's coming back to are not the same,” Klentak said. “Because Scott Kingery went out there and played a well-above-average defensive center field for us for spurts last year. Adam Haseley came up from the minor leagues and did a really good job and we still have Roman Quinn, who when healthy is as dynamic as any player in the league. So, whereas Odubel had been the everyday center fielder for a handful of seasons, now all of a sudden there's more of a competition there so the landscape has changed.”

Herrera was an All-Star in 2016 but his performance has declined in subsequent seasons. Dating to August 2018, he has hit just .204 over his last 84 games.

The Phillies still have several months before they have to make a decision on Herrera and with five openings on the 40-man roster, they are not in immediate need of space. It is still possible that Herrera could be traded (with the Phillies eating the bulk of his salary and getting little in return), but other teams will face the same public scrutiny about taking on the player. The Phillies could also option Herrera to Triple A, but that would require keeping him on the 40-man roster and in the organization.

Klentak was careful to point out that Herrera “is an option for us.” But given the gravity of the situation and the time that has passed, one has to wonder if he really is. Time will tell.

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