Rhys Hoskins eats a burger and hits a big home run, Aaron Nola and Seranthony Dominguez handle the rest

Rhys Hoskins eats a burger and hits a big home run, Aaron Nola and Seranthony Dominguez handle the rest


Not all the noise left Citizens Bank Park when the New York Yankees and their fans pulled out of town Wednesday night.

There was still some left Thursday night, thanks to Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins and Seranthony Dominquez.

Nola pitched a gem, Hoskins hit an important home run and Dominguez cleaned up a mess in the ninth inning as the Phillies beat the Washington Nationals, 4-3 (see first take).

The victory improved the Phillies to 43-36. They are two games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East. Washington is four games back. There are still three games left in this series and it was nice to get the first one, even if came in front of a crowd (25,026) that was about 20,000 shy of what the Phils played in front of the previous three nights.

“It’s always going to be different when it’s not a sellout,” Hoskins said. “Obviously, 25- or 30-thousand is not 40,000. But you could tell the fans were into the game. They were loud when we needed it. They were loud in big situations and I think that just goes to show that they’re a passionate group and they pay attention and know baseball.”

The fans were loud when Nola struck out Trea Turner to get out of a jam in the sixth and loud when he struck out dangerous Bryce Harper three times.

They were loud when Hoskins clubbed his second huge homer in has many nights, a two-run shot in the seventh that proved vital after reliever Tommy Hunter was tagged for a pair of runs in the ninth.

And they were loud again when rookie bullpen ace Seranthony Dominguez, called upon reluctantly by manager Gabe Kapler, ended the game with a strikeout of Wilmer Difo.

“It was different tonight,” Nola acknowledged. “The three games against the Yankees, since I've been here, were the most people I've seen in this stadium. It was loud and pretty electric. But it was definitely a cool atmosphere tonight. I felt toward the end of the game it got louder.”

Especially when he struck out Harper in the eighth.

“I definitely heard it then,” Nola said. “It was pretty cool.”

Nola held the Nats to five hits and a run over 7 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five. He is 7-0 with a 1.77 ERA in eight home starts this season and 10-2 with a 2.48 ERA overall.

Mr. Nola will go to Washington in a couple of weeks for the All-Star Game.

“I hope so,” he said. “But I'm not really thinking about that now. I'm focusing on trying to do what I can for the team.”

Nola has done plenty.

And so has Hoskins. His homer in the seventh gave the Phils a 4-1 lead. One night earlier, he provided the game’s only runs with a three-run homer in a 3-0 win over the Yankees.

Since coming off the disabled list on June 9, Hoskins has seven homers and 20 RBIs in 18 games. The Phillies are 11-7 in those games.

Hoskins’ broken jaw is almost healed.

“I got to eat a burger for the first time a couple days ago,” he said. “Best burger I ever had.”

Hoskins is still wearing jaw protection on his helmet. He’s going so good that he might actually keep it even after doctors determine his jaw is completely sound.

Comfort or superstition?

“Yes,” Hoskins deadpanned.

Nick Pivetta will pitch against Erick Fedde in the second game of the four-game series on Friday night. The Phillies probably won’t have Dominguez for that game because he has worked 2 2/3 innings the last two nights and thrown 36 pitches. Kapler would have preferred not to use his most trusted bullpen arm on a night when his team went into the ninth inning ahead, 4-1, but it became necessary when Tommy Hunter was tagged for two runs in the ninth.

“We had to use Seranthony at the end and he was outstanding,” Kapler said. “We didn’t want to use him tonight, but that’s baseball. If you don’t expect some challenges, if you expect it to be easy, you’re in the wrong sport. It’s just not how it works.

“You’re going to have times when it lines up pretty good, but there are going to be other times when you go to a guy you didn’t expect to and you have to kind of lean on him a little bit. We were able to do that with Seranthony tonight and we have a really good plan for how to care for him long term. We feel very confident in our ability to do so and I’m glad that he was able to step up for us.”

More on the Phillies​​​​​

Drew Smyly's outstanding debut, fearless Ranger Suarez help Phillies beat Pirates

Drew Smyly's outstanding debut, fearless Ranger Suarez help Phillies beat Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Despite a second straight day of little offense, the Phillies were able to escape PNC Park on Sunday with a series win. The Phillies had just three hits through eight innings and just six for the day. Ultimately, they got the game’s biggest hit — a solo homer from Rhys Hoskins with one out in the 11th — and that was enough to secure a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates heading into an off day Monday and a two-game set with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.

This is what happens when you get outstanding pitching. You can do little at the plate and still win a ballgame with one swing of the bat.

Make no mistake: The Phillies won this game because of their pitching. Even Hoskins admitted that.

“It was pretty incredible,” he said.

The Pirates scored a run in the first inning and nothing after that.

That first-inning run came against Drew Smyly, the veteran lefty who opted out of his minor-league contract with the Brewers on Thursday after the Phillies had reached out with a chance to be a starter in the big leagues. Smyly spent several days in roster limbo and did not get to join his new teammates in the clubhouse until Sunday morning. He signed his contract before the game then proceeded to pitch six innings of one-run ball. He scattered four hits, walked two and struck out eight. He got 16 swing and misses, eight on a curveball that catcher Andrew Knapp said was like no other he’d ever caught because it had screwball action.

“It's definitely a great one to start off on,” Smiley said. “Just try to build off of it. It was a lot of fun being out there with a new group of guys, a fresh start. I'm very grateful to the Phillies for this opportunity and just going to try to roll with it.”

Smyly, 30, missed 2017 and 2018 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was released by Texas in late June after recording a 8.42 ERA in 51 1/3 innings.

“I feel like once Texas designated me and then I went and signed with the Brewers, I really started to figure out some things about myself and kind of a new game plan, a new approach on how to attack hitters,” Smyly said. “I instantly saw results and I only think it's going to get better. I just feel like I'm a different pitcher than I was with Texas right now.”

Smyly would not offer specifics about the changes he made after Texas.

“I don't want to give away my secrets,” he said with a laugh. “Still have a lot of games to play. But it's just the way I'm attacking and the way I feel like I'm mixing it up. I was pretty predictable in Texas. I wasn't good. I didn't perform well. I know what I'm capable of. I've had a lot of good seasons in the past before my Tommy John surgery. So I just need to get back. The game has changed a little bit in the last two years and I just have to get back to attacking hitters and keeping them off balance. I think I have a good idea of how to do that now.”

After Smyly departed, the Phils got five shutout innings from the bullpen. Most impressive was rookie Ranger Suarez’ two scoreless innings after Hector Neris hit two batters and got a bases-loaded line out to left to survive a ninth-inning scare.

The lefty Suarez survived a leadoff double in the 10th and a hit in the 11th. He struck out the final two batters of the game. Eight of his last nine appearances have been scoreless. Not bad for a guy working out of the bullpen regularly for the first time.

Manager Gabe Kapler called Suarez’ work “gutsy” and “courageous.” The 23-year-old from Venezuela does pitch with a fearless swagger.

“I don’t need any fear,” Suarez said through translator Diego Ettedgui. “I need outs. And I was able to get them."

And the Phillies, still hoping to snap a seven-year playoff drought, were able to clinch a series win on a day when they scored just two runs.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies

Phillies 2, Pirates 1 (11 innings): Drew Smyly, Rhys Hoskins, bullpen deliver series win

Phillies 2, Pirates 1 (11 innings): Drew Smyly, Rhys Hoskins, bullpen deliver series win


PITTSBURGH — Rhys Hoskins smacked his 21st homer — and just his second of the month — with one out in the top of the 11th inning to propel the Phillies to a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Phils (52-48) took two of three in the series despite their offense producing just three runs in the final two games — and one of those runs was unearned.

The Phillies had just three hits through eight innings so the pitching had to be good. It was. Newcomer Drew Smyly delivered a strong start and the bullpen pitched shutout ball for five innings — though it was not easy. Hector Neris survived two hit batsmen and a bases-loaded line out to left in the ninth inning.

Rookie Ranger Suarez got the final six outs. He has allowed just one run in his last nine outings. He showed impressive composure in getting three outs after allowing a leadoff double in the 10th. Suarez struck out the final two batters of the game and earned the win.

Solid debut

The veteran Smyly, who opted out of his minor-league deal with Milwaukee on Thursday, did not sign his contract with the Phillies until three hours before first pitch. Pitching in front of teammates he’d just met, the lefty gave the Phillies six innings of four-hit, one-run ball. He walked two and struck out eight.

Smyly threw 96 pitches and got 16 swing and misses, eight on his curveball.

So far, a pretty good pickup for the Phils.

Can't help but think …

That Smyly pitches six shutout innings if third baseman Brad Miller makes a play on Kevin Newman’s leadoff double inside the bag in the first inning. Miller was playing close to the line and the ball, hard hit but probably playable, got past him.

Miller got the start at third over Maikel Franco. Pirates starter Dario Agrazal has a good sinker and manager Gabe Kapler often looks to keep Franco away from tough sinkerballers. The Phils prefer Franco to elevate the ball. His lack of speed does not play well on ground balls.

Demon on the bases

Bryce Harper made a couple of daring base-running plays. He turned what should have been a single into a hustle double in the first inning and in the fourth tagged from first and moved to second on a fly ball to deep left by Hoskins. Harper dived into second base safely as the throw eluded the second baseman. Good thing for the wide throw or Harper may have been out. Harper’s aggressive base-running play set up Cesar Hernandez for a game-tying RBI single with one out.

Big D

Kapler rested starting catcher J.T. Realmuto and gave Andrew Knapp the start behind the plate. Knapp made a huge defensive play when he gunned down Newman trying to steal second for the third out in the bottom of the eighth. The Pirates were looking to steal a run with dangerous Starling Marte at the plate.

Earlier, centerfielder Adam Haseley gunned down Marte trying to stretch a single into a double.

Sights and sounds

The game was delayed by rain for 25 minutes in the fourth inning.

In a bizarre moment in the the top of the sixth inning, a fan casually wandered onto the field and approached home plate with his cell phone outstretched. Security did not pursue the man and home plate umpire Ben May and Phillies hitter Miller backed away from the man, who may have been seeking a handshake. The intruder was apprehended and cuffed by police as he approached the Phillies’ dugout.

(AP Images/Keith Srakocic)

Health check

Shortstop Jean Segura left the game with a sore left heel.

Up next

The Phils are off on Monday. They open a quick, two-game series against the Tigers in Detroit on Tuesday night. Pitching matchups:

Tuesday night — RHP Aaron Nola (8-2, 3.77) vs. RHP Matthew Boyd (6-8, 4.13)

Wednesday afternoon — RHP Vince Velasquez (2-5, 4.87) vs. TBA.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies