MIAMI – The Phillies scored more runs in the first inning Tuesday night than they had in their previous three games. The four-run first inning helped the Phillies beat the Miami Marlins, 9-4.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak and was just the Phils’ 10th in the last 27 games.
The victory put the Phillies in position to pick up a game on first-place Atlanta in the NL East. The Phils entered the night trailing the Braves by four games.
Jake Arrieta earned his 10th win. Carlos Santana, Asdrubal Cabrera and Cesar Hernandez led the Phillies’ offense.
Santana gets it started
Looking for runs, manager Gabe Kapler continued to churn his lineup. He used Santana in the leadoff spot for the fifth time this season and the move paid immediate dividends as Santana led off the game with his 21st homer to start a four-run first inning. Santana reached base three times with two hits and a walk.
Hernandez smacked a three-run triple to complete the four-run first inning and Cabrera belted a two-run double in the second inning before adding a solo homer in the fourth.
Arrieta put himself on notice after lasting just three innings against Washington in his previous start. He said he felt a responsibility to pitch better in a pennant race. He followed through with 7 1/3 innings of four-run ball. He struck out 11, a season high. Arrieta threw 75 pitches and got just one swing and miss against Washington. In this outing, he threw 108 pitches and got 18 swings and misses, mostly with his sinker and curveball.
Arrieta allowed a pair of solo home runs to J.T. Realmuto.
Not this time
Marlins right-hander Trevor Richards had faced the Phillies once in July and once in August and allowed just eight hits and a run in 11 innings. This time, he did not make it out of the second inning as the Phillies tagged him for six runs on four hits and four walks.
The Phillies had 11 base runners in the first two innings. In Monday’s 3-1 loss to Miami, they had four for the entire game.
Franco still ailing
Maikel Franco did not play. He is headed for more tests on his ailing right wrist (see story).
An honor for Hector
Hector Neris was named NL reliever of the month for August. Neris, who spent more than a month in the minors regaining confidence and command of his splitter, made 10 scoreless appearances in the month and struck out 20 of the 32 batters he faced.
The Phillies have not won a series since August 2-5 when they swept four games from the Marlins to go 15 games over .500. The Phillies have experienced tough times since then. With a victory on Wednesday night, they can finally win another series. Nick Pivetta gets the start for the Phillies against Miami right-hander Sandy Alcantara. Pivetta has pitched well against the Marlins this season. In two starts, he has allowed just two runs in 11 2/3 innings. He has struck out 16 and walked none.
And in New York
The Phillies are off on Thursday. They open a three-game series against the Mets in New York on Friday night. The Phillies will see Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard and Cy Young candidate Jacob deGrom in that order in that series. The Phillies will counter with Zach Eflin, Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez, respectively.