The Phillies needed a couple of big performances to stop the powerful New York Yankees on Wednesday night.
Zach Eflin provided one (see story).
Rhys Hoskins provided the other.
Hoskins’ three-run homer to the opposite field against Luis Cessa with two outs in the second inning accounted for all the scoring.
It was a rather typical home run for Hoskins. In other words, it had great meaning. He has 12 homers on the season and 11 of them have given the Phillies a lead.
This one also had some franchise significance. It was the 30th homer of Hoskins’ career and it came in his 119th game. No Phillie has gotten to 30 long balls faster. Hall of Famer Chuck Klein reached 30 homers in his 132nd game. MVP Ryan Howard did it in his 134th game.
“My first thought was, ‘Wow,’” Hoskins said. “Anytime you get mentioned in a sentence with either of those guys or anyone of their caliber, it’s pretty humbling. So it’s definitely a cool thing.”
Hoskins actually spent some time with Howard at a function in Center City on Tuesday.
The Big Piece offered the Big Rhys some advice.
“Just be yourself,” Hoskins said. “He said just be yourself and you’ll be just fine, in a game, after the game, and especially in the city.
“Obviously, a great dude. He knows his stuff.”
Hoskins has been on fire since returning to the lineup after suffering a broken jaw. He is 20 for 66 (.303) with six homers and 18 RBIs in 17 games since coming off the disabled list. The Phillies are 10-7 in those games.
Hoskins’ home run Wednesday night helped the Phillies snap a three-game losing streak and salvage one game from the Yankees. The Yanks had won the first two games by a combined score of 10-2 and their fans had taken over Citizens Bank Park. Wednesday night’s crowd was just under a sellout at 42,048. Eflin and Hoskins made sure the Yankees fans didn’t have a lot to hoot about.
“Rhys had a huge home run for us,” manager Gabe Kapler said.
“And our fans … I don't think it's unreasonable to say that when some of the Yankees chants started, they were drowned out by Phillies fans. The Phillies fans were electric tonight. They came out in big numbers and they supported us in a major way. We felt that support in the dugout. I think there are some thank yous that are deserving there.”