PITTSBURGH — The Phillies played over some sloppy defense early in the game en route to their fifth straight win on Friday night.
They also made some history.
They beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 17-5, to improve to 11 games over .500. The win moved the Phillies into a first-place tie with Atlanta in the National League East.
The game took an interminable four hours, 30 minutes to play. That tied the National League record for longest nine-inning game, set June 24, 2016, by the Rockies and Diamondbacks.
Previously, the longest nine-inning Phillies game was four hours, 13 minutes set three years to the day earlier in a game at Dodger Stadium.
The Phillies pounded out 18 hits and walked 10 times. Five of those walks became runs. They were 9 for 20 with runners in scoring position. Odubel Herrera and Andrew Knapp both hit three-run homers. The Phillies’ bullpen gave up just two runs in 6 1/3 innings after starter Nick Pivetta exited early.
Big nights were had all around.
Cesar Hernandez was on base all night. He had three hits and scored three runs.
Rhys Hoskins had two singles, walked twice, drove in a run and scored three.
Herrera had four RBIs.
Carlos Santana drove in three runs with a sacrifice fly and a two-run double.
Further down in the order, Scott Kingery had four hits and an RBI and Maikel Franco had a two-run double early in the game.
The Phillies are 5-0 against the Pirates this season.
Pivetta lasted just 2 2/3 innings and gave up three runs. He did not pitch well, but the case could be made that he should not have given up a run.
Centerfielder Herrera, sans sunglasses, lost a catchable ball in the sun with two outs in the first inning. It went for a double, setting the table for an RBI hit by Colin Moran.
In the fourth, the Pirates scored two more runs against Pivetta after a third strike wild pitch that probably could have been blocked by catcher Knapp and a failed turn of a double play by Kingery and Franco.
The Pirates’ fourth run probably would not have happened if an infield shift did not backfire on the Phillies. Josh Bell stroked a leadoff hit through the second base area but Hernandez had no play because he was shifted behind the bag. Bell hustled his way to a double and scored on a hit by Starling Marte.
The defense wasn’t all bad. Rightfielder Nick Williams cut down a run at the plate in the first inning and third baseman Jesmuel Valentin, who double-switched into the game in the fifth, cut down the potential tying run with a nice play in the fifth.
Then the Phillies' offense went crazy and the game turned into a blowout.
A very long one at that (see story).