The struggling Phillies enjoyed a cathartic 14-2 win over the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.
The Phillies had 18 hits, including five home runs.
Aaron Altherr had his best game of the season with a two-run homer, a three-run homer and two singles. He scored three runs and made a terrific base running play.
Where they stand
The win snapped a five-game losing streak and was just the Phillies’ third in the last 11 games.
They entered the game on life support in the NL East race, 7½ games behind first-place Atlanta.
The Phillies are four games over .500 with 16 to play.
Manager Gabe Kapler went heavy on right-handed bats against Marlins lefty Wei-Yin Chen. That’s why Altherr was in the lineup playing left field.
Yes, Rhys Hoskins was in the lineup. He started at first base – his natural position – for just the third time this season. Carlos Santana started at third.
Could Hoskins’ assignment at first have been a harbinger of things to come? Could he be back at first base next season? Phillies officials have discussed it (see story).
Hoskins, Roman Quinn and Mitch Walding also homered for the Phillies. Walding’s homer was his first big-league hit.
Zach Eflin, who lasted only three innings in his previous outing, delivered 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball.
Energy and confidence
Altherr played with energy and confidence. You could see both when he made a terrific base-running play, scoring from second base as Quinn was beating out a potential double-play ball that would have ended the fourth inning. You don’t make that play without energy, confidence, a lead on the scoreboard – and plenty of speed and athleticism. Not only did Altherr exhibit his speed, he made an athletic slide to get by catcher J.T. Realmuto’s tag.
Quinn returned to the lineup – in center field — nine days after suffering a broken toe on his right foot in Miami. He had a big game. In addition to beating out the potential double play that resulted in two RBIs in the fourth, he hit a laser-beam homer to left in the second inning.
Quinn has three doubles, three triples and two homers in his last 13 starts. He has stolen playing time from inconsistent Odubel Herrera. It’s not difficult to envision Quinn being this team’s starting centerfielder at the start of next season.
If he can stay healthy.
That has always been a challenge.