For the second day in a row, Rhys Hoskins hit a go-ahead home run, the defense cut down a run at the plate and the Phillies won a one-run game at Citizens Bank Park.
This one was a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals in front of 28,212 on Monday night.
The Phillies are 7-2.
Hoskins broke a 2-2 tie with a solo homer against Anibal Sanchez with one out in the sixth. The homer came on a full-count curveball. On Sunday, Hoskins belted a decisive two-run homer on a full-count curveball from Minnesota’s Jose Berrios. That homer lifted the Phils to a 2-1 win.
Hoskins likes hitting with a full count. He has 12 homers and 30 RBIs in 136 career at-bats with a full count.
Hoskins concluded his night with a second homer, a solo shot in the eighth inning. It proved to be huge after Pat Neshek gave up a homer in the ninth and the Nats cut the Phils’ lead to one.
Hoskins has five homers and 15 RBIs on the young season.
• Hoskins did it again.
RHYS!— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 9, 2019
Come for the home run, stay for the celly.
Phillies lead it, 3-2. pic.twitter.com/azJcFFaLik
• For the second day in a row, the Phillies cut down a run at the plate. This time, right fielder Bryce Harper cut off a ball in the gap and fired to shortstop Jean Segura, who threw a strike to J.T. Realmuto to nail Ryan Zimmerman. Huge play in a close game.
• With a man on first base and one out in the fourth, Odubel Herrera got a first-pitch, 89-mph fastball from Sanchez. Herrera jumped all over the low-octane fastball and drove it out to right to tie the game at 2-2.
• Nice work Seranthony Dominguez, Adam Morgan and David Robertson. They combined for three scoreless innings out of the ‘pen. Neshek got the final three outs — Juan Soto, Zimmerman and Kurt Suzuki — with the tying run at second.
Vince Velasquez’ first start of the season wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad, either. He battled some command issues and ran a high pitch count in a rough second inning, but still managed to hold the Nats to two runs over five innings. He walked none and struck out two.
The runs that Velasquez allowed came in the second when he gave up a leadoff double to Juan Soto and a one-out homer to Suzuki on a 2-2 slider. Velasquez looked uneasy working with a runner on base and his tempo slowed down significantly leading up to the homer by Suzuki. Other than that, not a bad place to start for Velasquez, who needs to put together some consistency to secure his spot in the rotation and hold off competition from Triple A or even outside the organization.
OK, so it wasn’t a rehab outing, per se, but manager Gabe Kapler got struggling Dominguez back on the mound in a 2-2 game in the top of sixth inning. Dominguez, who has struggled with command and velocity in the early going, delivered a clean inning and popped the ball up to 98 mph, which was a good sign.
In real rehab matters, Roman Quinn (oblique strain) continues to play for Single A Clearwater. Kapler said Quinn was healthy, but the Phillies would not rush him back, partly because Herrera was playing so well and it might be tough to get Quinn in the lineup immediately. Kapler said it was possible that Quinn could get some at-bats at Double A or Triple A before being activated. Beginning Friday, the Phils play 17 straight days. Quinn will likely get some starts during that stretch, Kapler said.
Kapler gave slumping Cesar Hernandez his first night off and went with Scott Kingery at second base. Hernandez, hitting .179 in the first eight games, could be right back in there Tuesday night. He has been hitting seventh in the lineup. Kapler said it was not out the question that he’d look to hit Hernandez ninth at some point in the season. That would allow Maikel Franco to move to seventh and continue to hit in front of the pitcher while Hernandez at the bottom could give the Phils something akin to back-to-back leadoff men. Just a thought.
Kingery had a pair of singles.
Aaron Nola makes his third start of the season on Tuesday night. He faces Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals roughed up Nola for six runs in three innings last week in Washington.
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