The Phillies completed a mostly embarrassing weekend of baseball at Citizens Bank Park with a 10-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
The White Sox, who entered the series 14 games under .500 and with a record of 4-16 since the All-Star break, took two of three from the Phillies.
The Phils faced three starting pitchers with ERAs above 5.00 (one was above 6.00) in the series and were held to 11 runs in 33 innings. Two of their runs Sunday came with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. They were on their way to being held to three runs or less for the 12th time in 21 games before that.
The White Sox hit three homers, one a grand slam by Leury Garcia in the second inning.
The Phillies entered the day tied for the second wild-card spot. They are 58-53.
Lefty Drew Smyly’s third start with the Phillies was an interesting one. He pitched five innings before leaving for a pinch-hitter. He registered a 1-2-3 inning in four of those frames. His one bad inning was very bad as he gave up three singles, a walk and a grand slam as the White Sox scored five times in the second.
Tough day for pitching pickups
The Phillies signed Smyly after he opted out of his minor-league contract with Milwaukee last month. They acquired Mike Morin in a cash deal from the Twins on the same weekend. Morin allowed six hits and four runs in two innings of relief. He gave up a three-run homer in the eighth as the White Sox pulled away. Blake Parker, another newcomer, allowed a solo homer in the ninth.
Under the microscope
The on-again, off-again phasing-out of Maikel Franco is on again.
The Phillies sent Franco to Triple A before the game.
By sending Franco to the minors, the Phils opted to keep Sean Rodriguez as a right-handed bat and utility man off the bench.
Rodriguez came up as a pinch-hitter in a huge situation with one out in the bottom of the sixth. The Phils had pushed across two runs in the inning to cut the Sox’ lead to 5-3 and there were two men on base. Rodriguez could not keep the rally going. He bounced into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play against lefty Aaron Bummer and the White Sox tagged on a run in the top of the seventh to increase their lead to three runs.
Rodriguez is 2 for 16 with a homer and eight strikeouts as a pinch-hitter this season.
A new look at leadoff
The Phillies have had trouble in the leadoff spot since Andrew McCutchen went down with a season-ending knee injury in early June. Newcomer Corey Dickerson, picked up in a trade with Pittsburgh on Wednesday, got his first start with the Phils and batted leadoff. He was 2 for 5 with an RBI single and a two-run homer. The two-run homer came with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
The Phillies begin a seven-game trip to Arizona and San Francisco on Monday night. Here are the pitching matchups for the series in Arizona:
Monday night — RHP Vince Velasquez (3-6, 4.40) vs. RHP Merrill Kelly (7-11, 4.52)
Tuesday night — RHP Jake Arrieta (8-9, 4.44) vs. RHP Mike Leake (9-8, 4.27)
Wednesday night — LHP Jason Vargas (6-5, 3.93) vs. RHP Zac Gallen (1-3, 2.72)
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