victor arano

Phillies come roaring out of All-Star break to blast Padres

Phillies come roaring out of All-Star break to blast Padres

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The Phillies came back from the All-Star break Friday night and survived a ragged first inning en route to an 11-5 win over the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park.

Carlos Santana led the Phillies’ offense with a three-run home run, highlighting the team’s six-run second inning.

Phillies starting pitcher Jake Arrieta was not sharp. He allowed five base runners — on three hits and two walks — and four runs in the first inning. It did not help that the Phils made two errors in the inning. One of the errors was by Arrieta and he also threw a wild pitch.

Arrieta’s mates got him off the hook with a big second inning against lefty Clayton Richard. The Phils drew three walks in the inning and two of them came around to score. Santana’s 15th homer was the big blow in the inning. Odubel Herrera chipped in with a two-run single and Rhys Hoskins worked a bases-loaded walk.

Arrieta had pitched well — four earned runs in 19 innings — in his first three starts in July. He did not make it out of the fourth inning in this one. He gave up six hits and five runs. Two of his three walks led off innings and became runs.

The Phillies’ bullpen was exceptional. Austin Davis, Victor Arano, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek and Adam Morgan combined on 5 2/3 scoreless innings. The left-hander Davis earned his first big-league win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

The offense erupted for four more runs in the bottom of the eighth to salt the game away.

Santana finished the night with four RBIs.

The attendance was 30,034.

The win improved the Phillies to 54-42 overall and 31-16 at Citizens Bank Park. They maintained a half-game lead in the NL East over second-place Atlanta, which was victorious at Washington. The Nats are 6½ games back.

Notes
• Vince Velasquez (5-8, 4.39) will start Saturday night against San Diego’s Luis Perdomo (1-4, 7.55). Nick Pivetta (6-7, 4.58) will start Sunday afternoon against Tyson Ross (5-8, 4.32).

The blister on Zach Eflin’s right middle finger has healed. He will come off the disabled list and face the Dodgers on Monday night. Aaron Nola will round out the rotation and start on Tuesday. The Phillies wanted to give Nola a couple of extra days of rest.

“He’s been a dependable horse and we thought it was smart to give him a blow,” manager Gabe Kapler said.

• J.P. Crawford, on the DL with a fractured hand, has been cleared to take ground balls and hit balls off a tee. 

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Wasted opportunities highlight Phillies' frustrating Game 1 loss

Wasted opportunities highlight Phillies' frustrating Game 1 loss

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NEW YORK — The Phillies couldn't cash in golden opportunities in the eighth and 10th innings of a tie game before falling to the Mets, 4-3, in Game 1 of Monday's doubleheader.

Wilmer Flores delivered the walk-off home run in the 10th inning, just one pitch after the Mets challenged thinking he had been hit by Victor Arano.

Arano took the loss. Seranthony Dominguez threw two perfect innings in the eighth and ninth. His 29 pitches likely make him unavailable tonight.

The Phillies are 49-39, a half-game behind the Braves for first place. Atlanta is off tonight and again Thursday.

Despite how bad the Mets have gotten, the Phils are just 20-42 against them since the start of 2015 and 9-22 at Citi Field. 

During that span, they've been out-homered by the Mets 108-50.

Wasted chances
Scott Kingery, Andrew Knapp and Maikel Franco worked consecutive one-out walks to load the bases in the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Jesmuel Valentin forced Robert Gsellman into a full count before a strikeout and a Cesar Hernandez groundout ended the threat.

It was a very 2018 Phillies-like inning with all the pitches seen. However, in Valentin's at-bat, balls 1, 2 and 3 were all borderline strikes on the corners. 

In the 10th inning, the Phils had two on with nobody out and stranded both runners. 

In both innings, the nine-spot in the order made a key out, with Valentin failing to get a runner in from third and Dylan Cozens making the final out of the 10th.

These were spots where having one more capable bench bat could have helped the Phillies substantially. Aaron Altherr had pinch-hit earlier and Gabe Kapler wasn't about to use Jorge Alfaro off the bench with another game tonight, which left just Valentin and the whiff-prone Cozens in chances when a medium-deep fly ball or single could have won the game.

The Phillies went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners. Not gonna win many games like that.

Decent day for Eflin
Zach Eflin gave up a couple of hard-hit balls to Phillie-killer Asdrubal Cabrera but was otherwise effective, allowing three runs and just five base runners in five innings. Eflin retired seven of the final eight hitters he faced and exited with the game tied.

Since June 1, Eflin is 6-0 with a 2.32 ERA. The only NL starting pitchers over that stretch with a lower ERA in as many innings are Jacob deGrom and Jon Lester.

Monday was Eflin's 12th start of the season, which sets a new career high for him in the majors. He's 7-2 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.

Walking the walk
Carlos Santana walked three more times in Game 1 Monday, giving him 71 on the season.

The only other major-leaguers with 70 walks this season are Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.

Santana has 22 more walks than strikeouts, by far the best ratio of any player in either league. 

And for the "Yeah but he stinks, he's hitting .217" crowd, consider this: Santana has more extra-base hits (32) than Joey Votto, as many RBI (51) as Paul Goldschmidt and a higher on-base percentage (.363) than Anthony Rizzo. 

Franco on a roll
Franco homered to left-center in the fourth, delivered an opposite-field single in the sixth and worked an eight-pitch walk to load the bases in the eighth. 

Franco is up to .273/.320/.458 on the season. Trade target Mike Moustakas, who plays the same position, is hitting .254/.309/.468.

Since June 17, Franco is 22 for 59 (.373) with six doubles, three homers and nine RBI. He's raised his OPS from .689 to .779.

Biggest Phillie-killer going?
Cabrera has just destroyed the Phillies since signing with the Mets prior to 2016.

In 41 games against the Phils over that span, Cabrera has hit .392 with 14 doubles, 11 home runs and 32 RBI. He accounted for the Mets' first and third runs in Game 1 of Monday's doubleheader, with a solo home run in the first inning and a two-out RBI double in the third off Eflin.

Luckily for the Phils, they might not have to worry about Cabrera much longer. He's one of the players the Mets are likely to trade before July 31.

Up next
The second part of today's doubleheader pits All-Star Aaron Nola (11-2, 2.41) vs. 24-year-old Mets rookie right-hander Corey Oswalt (0-1, 7.94).

No relation to Roy Oswalt.

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Phillies allow 7 homers as club thrashed by Nationals

Phillies allow 7 homers as club thrashed by Nationals

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The Phillies absorbed a hellacious beating at the hands of the Washington Nationals on Friday night. The Nats ambushed starter Nick Pivetta for seven runs in the first two innings, ran out to an 11-run lead and powered their way to a 17-7 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

The weather was steamy — hittin’ weather as Charlie Manuel used to say — and the Nationals did a lot of that against Pivetta and Hector Neris. The Nats hit a pair of two-run homers in the first inning (Trea Turner and Juan Soto) and a three-run homer (Anthony Rendon) in the second against Pivetta, who lasted just 1 2/3 innings.

The Nats got another homer — a three-run shot — from Bryce Harper in the fourth inning in building an 11-0 lead. The homer, against Yacksel Rios, was Harper’s NL-leading 20th.

Things got ugly in the ninth inning when Neris gave up three home runs and was serenaded by boos after finally getting the third out.

The Nats hit seven homers in the game. Entering the game, they had hit just 12 in the entire month of June.

The loss left the Phillies at 43-37. They are a game better than Washington (42-38) in the NL East standings. Atlanta leads the division.

June was considered to be a tough test for the Phillies. Friday night’s loss means the Phils will not finish the month with a winning record. They are 12-14 with one game to play in the month. It still has been a solid month for the Phillies with series wins over the Rockies, Brewers, Cardinals and Nationals last week. With two games left against the Nats this weekend, there is still time to win this series, but the Phils will need better starting pitching from Vince Velasquez and Jake Arrieta.

Pivetta fell to 4-7 with the loss and his ERA swelled from 4.06 to 4.71 in 17 starts.

The 25-year-old right-hander opened the season as one of the team’s bright spots. He went 4-2 with a 3.23 ERA in his first 10 starts. Since then, he is 0-5 with a 7.09 ERA in seven starts.

Despite being down 11-0, the Phillies battled back and managed to at least make the game interesting with a 10-hit attack that included home runs from Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery and Carlos Santana.

Hoskins has homered in three straight games, giving him 14 on the season and eight since coming off the disabled 19 games ago. He has 22 RBIs over that span.

Hoskins’ home run in the fifth inning against Washington starter Erick Fedde was pretty impressive. It came on a full-count splitter on the 14th pitch of the at-bat and after Hoskins had fouled off seven straight pitches. Hoskins fouled off eight pitches in all in the at-bat.

That was about the extent of the Phillies' highlights on a forgettable night.

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