Phillies

Maikel Franco, Aaron Altherr hit grand slams in Phillies’ huge win

/ by Jim Salisbury
Presented By CureObservations
Phillies

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The Phillies warmed up a cold Saturday night with a blistering, 20-hit attack en route to a 20-1 win over the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

The loss was the worst in Marlins’ history. They lost an 18-0 game to Atlanta in 1999.

With 20 runs, the Phillies eclipsed their total (19) for the first six games of the season. The Phils had not scored 20 runs in a game since a 22-1 win over the Reds on July 6, 2009.

The Phils hit two grand slams in the game, the first time they’d done that since Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez did so against Washington on April 27, 2009. Maikel Franco belted one in the first inning and Aaron Altherr followed in the third. Carlos Santana added a three-run homer in the fourth inning and Jorge Alfaro a solo shot in the seventh. Alfaro's traveled 433 feet to center.

Vince Velasquez was the beneficiary of all this offense as he picked up the win in his second start of the season. The hard-throwing but enigmatic right-hander needed 53 pitches to get through the first two innings. He found some control after that and managed to give his club six innings in which he gave up four hits, a walk and a run while striking out six. He threw 45 pitches over his final four innings of work, finishing with 98.

Franco had his second straight big game. He had three hits, including a homer and a triple, and four RBIs in Thursday’s 5-0 win over the Marlins. After the early grand slam, Franco drove in two more runs with a hard-hit double off the center field wall. He also drew a walk in the game and scored three runs.

 

This won’t be the first beating the Marlins take this season. They slashed their payroll and dumped talent such as Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon in the offseason. They are playing with a young team and have used a rookie starting pitcher in each of the first two games of this series. They will start another rookie, Trevor Richards, against Jake Arrieta on Sunday.

The Phils have beaten the Marlins by a combined score of 25-1 in two games. The two teams play each other 17 more times this season. The Phils went 11-8 and averaged 5.63 runs per game against Miami last season.

• Slumping J.P. Crawford, just 1 for 19 to start the season, got the night off as Scott Kingery got his second start at shortstop. Kingery has now started games at third, shortstop and in right field. He moved to second base later in the game.

“I have the utmost confidence in J.P.,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “I just wanted to give him back to back days to work on anything he wanted to work on and clear his mind. I’m absolutely confident he will be a strong contributor offensively as well as defend the baseball beautifully like he always does. I’m excited that he’s going to be in the lineup (Sunday).”

Kingery has started just four games at shortstop since high school — two in Triple A last year and two in the majors this season.