Three hours before the first pitch of a doubleheader against the Miami Marlins on Friday afternoon, Phillies manager Joe Girardi sat in the dugout at scorching Citizens Bank Park and said this:
“I feel really good about the way we’ve been playing. We went on a road trip and won five games. That’s not something that has happened since I’ve been here. I felt really good about the way our offense was swinging the bats. I actually hated to stop with the way we were swinging the bats, but hopefully we can pick up where we left off.”
Girardi got his wish.
Travis Jankowski drove in four runs and Matt Moore delivered a solid start as the Phils returned from the All-Star break with a 5-2 win over the Miami Marlins in the first game of the seven-inning doubleheader.
The win was the Phillies’ ninth in the last 13 games as they got over .500 for the first time since June 13. They are 45-44.
Zach Eflin will get the ball in Game 2 against Miami lefty Ross Detwiler.
The Phillies received strong contributions from the fringes of their roster in winning Game 1.
Jankowski got the start in center field in place of injured Odubel Herrera. He stroked a three-run double with two outs in the first inning against Miami starter Sandy Alcantara, who had held the Phillies to just two runs over 14 innings in a pair of starts earlier this season.
Jankowski’s base-loaded double came off his broken bat at just 64.9 mph, but it had eyes as it scooted past the first-base bag and rolled down the right-field line to clear the sacks.
Two innings later, Jankowski had another two-out RBI on a base hit up the middle and Ronald Torreyes followed with an RBI hit.
All of the Phillies’ runs came with two outs. Jankowski had three hits and his four RBIs were a career high.
Torreyes started at third base in place of Nick Maton, who was set to start in place of COVID-shelved Alec Bohm. Maton suffered a cut on his right middle finger during batting practice and had to be scratched.
Torreyes made the defensive play of the game when he dove to his right to start a 5-4-3 double play to end the top of the fifth and help the Phils preserve a three-run lead.
Moore was excellent. The lefty scattered six hits over 4 1/3 innings, walked none and struck out nine.
Archie Bradley and Ranger Suarez (three strikeouts) closed it out for the Phillies and they turned their attention to trying to get a sweep in Game 2.
This is a crucial stretch for the Phillies as they try to make a move in the NL East standings and convince upper management to add to the roster through a trade or two. The Game 1 win left them three games behind the first-place New York Mets, who were set to play in Pittsburgh on Friday night.
“I would have to say the next 10 days to two weeks will probably determine a lot,” Girardi said. “It’s an important time for us. We’re still not where we want to be. We’re going to play a lot of games in our division the next two weeks so it’s an important time.”