Phillies

Phillies 3, Marlins 1 (14 innings): Jean Segura, bullpen help Phillies win marathon

Phillies 3, Marlins 1 (14 innings): Jean Segura, bullpen help Phillies win marathon

BOX SCORE 

MIAMI — Jean Segura’s first home run as a Phillie was a memorable one. It broke a nine-inning scoring drought and lifted the Phillies to a 3-1 win over the Miami Marlins in 14 innings on Sunday afternoon.

On a day when the offense sputtered again, the Phillies got a nice start from Vince Velasquez and tremendous work from the bullpen, which delivered eight shutout innings.

The arduous win enabled the Phillies to win the series. They took two of three and are 9-5. The Marlins are 4-12.

The keys

• Andrew McCutchen stroked a one-out triple in the top of the 14th. Segura then hit an 0-2 pitch from lefty Wei-Yin Chen over the wall in left to break a 1-1 tie.

• The bullpen was awesome. Hector Neris got two clutch strikeouts with a runner on second base to end the eighth and keep it tied. David Robertson kept the tie intact with two scoreless innings. Seranthony Dominguez struck out three in a scoreless 11th. Ditto for Victor Arano in the 12th and 13th.

Lefty Jose Alvarez closed it out.

• Gabe Kapler wanted to get Scott Kingery in the lineup, but would it be at second base in place of Cesar Hernandez or third in place of Maikel Franco? Kapler decided to use Kingery at third and stick with Hernandez because he’d had some success — 7 for 26, a triple and two homers — against Marlins starter Jose Urena. The move paid off when Hernandez lined a solo homer, his first of the season, over the right-field wall to give the Phils a 1-0 lead in the fourth. That was the only run Urena gave up in seven walk-free innings. He struck out seven.

• The Marlins cut down Bryce Harper at the plate for the second out in the sixth as he tried to score from second on a hit to left by Rhys Hoskins. Harper had slowed down at third then busted it for the plate. Third base coach Dusty Wathan at first waved Harper home then put up the stop sign too late. It was a big play in a close game because the Marlins tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning on a solo homer by Brian Anderson. Anderson hit a first-pitch fastball. It was the first hit of the day against Velasquez.

• The Phillies left a runner in scoring position in each of the first three innings and again in the ninth. They left the bases loaded in the ninth when Sergio Romo retired pinch hitter J.T. Realmuto. They left a man on second when Andrew Knapp took a called third strike in the 11th and another one in scoring position when Kingery and Knapp struck out in the 13th. The Phils were just 2 for 11 on the day with a runner in scoring position through the first 13 innings of the game.

Velasquez’ day

It was pretty good. He gave up just two hits and a run over six innings, walked three and struck out four. He did not allow a hit until Anderson’s homer on a first-pitch fastball in the sixth. He was economical with his pitches, throwing 81.

In two starts, Velasquez has given up just six hits and three runs in 11 innings. Is he putting together some consistency? The Phillies sure hope so because they need it.

More time for Kingery?

He had a double and a single. He also had two doubles off the bench on Saturday night. He will continue to push Franco and Hernandez for time.

Up next

The Phillies get their first look of the new season at the Mets on Monday night. The Phils will see Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Zach Wheeler in three-game series series. The Phillies will counter with Aaron Nola, Nick Pivetta and Jake Arrieta.

The Phils have not had a winning record against the Mets since 2011.

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Phillies' series loss to Rockies gnaws at Gabe Kapler

Phillies' series loss to Rockies gnaws at Gabe Kapler

DENVER — The Phillies’ offense, pretty much nonexistent for much of the day, began to stir with two outs in the ninth inning. One hit. A second hit and a run. A third hit. Suddenly it’s a three-run game and there are runners on second and third.

In the on-deck circle, Bryce Harper motioned to hitting coach John Mallee and asked to look at a sheet of paper bearing some intel on Colorado reliever Wade Davis.

All the Phillies needed was for Cesar Hernandez to reach base for Harper to get a chance with the bases loaded in Coors Field, the place where anything can and often does happen. You could almost hear Harper saying, “Get me to the plate, boys,” as Ryan Howard did one long ago October in the same ballpark.

Harper never made it out of the on-deck circle. Davis retired Hernandez and the Phillies trudged back to the clubhouse with a 4-1 loss (see observations), their third in four days in the series and seventh in their last eight games at Coors Field, dating to September of last season.

“I think we can play better than we did in this series,” manager Gabe Kapler said.

The Phils pretty much gave away Friday night’s 12-inning game by going 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position and leaving 19 men on base.

And, on Sunday, they had just two hits over the first 8 2/3 innings and Hernandez committed a costly base-running blunder in the fourth inning when the Rockies were leading just 1-0.

“It was a big play,” Kapler said. “It’s a play that can’t happen.”

The Phils were looking at having runners on first and second with one out against Jon Gray after the Rockies muffed a force out at second. The ball got away from second baseman Garrett Hampson as Hernandez slid into second. Umpire Joe West flashed the safe sign. However, Hernandez did not see the loose ball (which was in front of him) nor did he see West’s signal. He started walking back to the dugout and eventually was tagged for the second out. It cost the Phils a run, and maybe more, because Maikel Franco followed with a double.

“It’s ultimately my fault,” Hernandez said. “I know better. I should have stayed on the base until I was 100 percent sure if I was out or safe. I just assumed I was out. It's a learning experience for me. Hopefully it won't happen again.”

Both Hernandez and Kapler said they wished West had voiced his call as well as signaled it.

“That always helps,” Hernandez said. “But, again, it’s not his fault. It’s mine.”

Said Kapler: “Joe did not say anything verbally. He held his hands out (safe sign). You always like, when you can get it, a demonstrative call one way or the other; I’m definitely not calling out Joe for anything in this particular case. I think this is something that Cesar has to be responsible for. If Cesar was standing right next to me, he’d tell you stay on the base until you’re absolutely certain what the call is.”

Hernandez has recently started to heat up after a slow start. However, he went hitless in five at-bats Sunday and did not look good in one of his two strikeouts. He was about to be pushed for work before Scott Kingery suffered a hamstring strain in this series and went on the disabled list.

About the only bright spot Sunday was starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff, who allowed four runs in six innings, a solid performance in Coors Field and against a team that boasts the beast of Charlie Blackmon. He had 10 hits, including two triples and two homers, in the four games to raise his average from .219 to .286 and his OPS from .567 to .802.

The Phillies jetted to New York after the game. They play the Mets in Citi Field the next three nights.

Kapler wasn’t planning on kicking back with a scotch on the flight.

“We’ve got a lot to think about on this plane ride and we’re going to go through everything and be prepared to come out and beat the Mets,” he said.

He was asked to expound on what needed to be thought about.

“I think it’s more postmortem from this series, some of the things we could have done differently,” he said. “Take some time. I’d love to be able to tell you exactly what those things are, but that’s why you get on the plane and think about them.”

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Rockies 4, Phillies 1: Phillies' offense doesn't show up until it's too late in series finale

Rockies 4, Phillies 1: Phillies' offense doesn't show up until it's too late in series finale

BOX SCORE 

DENVER — The Phillies capped an unpleasant visit to Coors Field with a 4-1 loss on Sunday afternoon.

The offense produced just five hits and three of them came with two outs in the ninth as the Phils rallied for their only run. Colorado's Wade Davis retired Cesar Hernandez with two men on base to end the game.

The Phils lost three of four in the series and head to New York at 12-9.

The Phils are 5-13 against the Rockies since the start of the 2017 season. They have lost seven of the eight games that they’ve played at Coors Field since last September and been outscored 58-21.

The keys

• Two hits through 8 2/3 innings in Coors Field. That won't do it.

• Colorado starter Jon Gray kept the Phillies' hitters off-balance with a fastball that reached 97 mph and a slider/curveball mix that produced 13 swings and misses. Gray allowed just one hit over six shutout innings. He walked four and struck out five.

• With the Phillies down 1-0 in the fourth inning, Hernandez made a base-running blunder that ultimately cost his team a run. Hernandez had reached second in a muffed force play but did not notice that the ball had come loose and walked off the field toward the dugout and was tagged out.

Eickhoff’s day

Jerad Eickhoff had a solid outing in his first start of the season. He gave up just one run through five innings then paid for a couple of no-out walks en route to giving up three runs in the sixth. 

Like Aaron Nola the night before, Eickhoff got some big outs with runners on base. He did not get enough run support to pitch over the sixth inning. After the two walks, he gave up a single and a two-run double as Colorado built its lead to 4-0 in that frame. In all, Eickhoff allowed seven hits and four walks over six innings. He struck out eight.

Missing pop

Cleanup man Rhys Hoskins had three hits on Friday night and three more on Saturday before a hitless day in the series finale. He has gone seven games without an extra-base hit.

Phillie killer

Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon entered the four-game series hitting .219 with a .567 OPS. He ended the series hitting .286 with a .802 OPS. He had 10 hits, including two doubles and two triples, in 18 at-bats.

For his career, Blackmon is 56 for 161 (.348) with 10 homers and 23 RBIs against the Phils.

Health check

After an MRI, Phillies officials have determined that Scott Kingery’s hamstring strain is mild. There is still no timetable for his return. He suffered the injury Friday night.

Up next

The Phils visit Citi Field for the first time in the new season for a three-game series against the Mets (11-10) beginning on Monday night. Jake Arrieta looks to continue his strong start in the opener against Steven Matz. The Phils hung eight runs on Matz in the first inning of a game in Philadelphia last week. Zach Eflin pitches Tuesday night against Zack Wheeler and Vince Velasquez on Wednesday night against Jason Vargas.

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