There was some of that old life in the ballpark Monday night, you know the kind that used to fill Citizens Bank Park during the title days from 2007 to 2011.
But the electricity, fueled by a showdown between two first-place teams and the presence of Chase Utley back on the diamond where he starred for 13 seasons, did not translate into a victory for the Phillies. They lost, 7-6, to the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of a crowd of 33,753.
The loss dropped the Phils (55-44) back into a tie for the top spot in the NL East with victorious Atlanta. The Dodgers lead the NL West at 56-44.
Bullpen ace Seranthony Dominguez took the loss. He entered a tie game in the top of the ninth inning, faced five batters and retired just one. He walked three, allowed a single and was charged with a bases-loaded wild pitch that brought home the tie-breaking run. The wild pitch easily could have been scored a passed ball on catcher Jorge Alfaro.
Before the inning was over, Dominguez was charged with a second run when Luis Garcia gave up an RBI single to Matt Kemp to put the Dodgers up, 7-5. That run proved huge because the Phillies rallied for a run on a homer by Maikel Franco in the bottom of the ninth.
The home run came against Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers' All-Star closer. He settled down and got three outs for the save.
Dominguez walked the first batter of the ninth inning. He then gave up a hard-hit one-hop single through shortstop to Joc Pederson. The Phillies were in a defensive shift on the play. Had they been playing straight away, they might have had a shot at a double play.
The teams combined for eight home runs. The Dodgers hit four solo shots. Franco had two solo shots for the Phils. Odubel Herrera also had a solo homer and Rhys Hoskins had a three-run shot.
Hoskins’ homer — his third in as many games — came with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning and tied the game at 4-4. Herrera then followed with his homer to put the Phils ahead, 5-4. Both of the home runs came against Dodgers starter Ross Stripling.
Rookie lefty Austin Davis protected the lead in the sixth inning, but Tommy Hunter could not in the seventh. He gave up a one-out triple to right to Manny Machado and a game-tying sacrifice fly to Max Muncy. Muncy’s ball was not hit deep to center field and Machado made a daring base-running play in testing Herrera’s arm. Herrera appeared to briefly hesitate before making the throw home and Machado was able to dive across home plate ahead of the tag.
Hunter stayed on for the eighth and survived a two-out double by Chris Taylor by getting Utley on a hard-hit comebacker to the mound.
Zach Elfin, pitching for the first time in two weeks because of the All-Star break and a trip to the disabled list for a blister on his pitching hand, was clearly rusty. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings and allowed five hits and three walks. Three of the hits were solo home runs.
Eflin, who had pitched to a 2.32 ERA in his previous seven starts, left the game trailing, 3-1, and the Dodgers built their lead to 4-1 on a solo homer by Pederson against Yacksel Rios in the fourth. That was the only run that Rios gave up as he kept the game close until the Phillies could get to Stripling in the bottom of the fifth inning.
• Second baseman Cesar Hernandez did not start for the second game in a row. He fouled a ball off his right foot two weeks ago in Pittsburgh and it is still bothering him.
“It's been a little bit sore,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “We just want to kind of manage it. We are being cautious about this. He’ll most likely be back in there [Tuesday].”
• Roman Quinn continues to make his way back after having surgery to repair a ligament in his right middle finger in May. After playing for a few days in Clearwater, he was in the lineup at Double A Reading on Monday night. Quinn, a switch-hitting outfielder with lots of speed and the ability to play some infield, could be an option for a role on the Phillies’ bench very soon.