Phillies Analysis

Uncharacteristic night for Phillies pitching, who give up 8 runs in loss to Red Sox

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BOSTON — It's not often the Phillies lose a game where they led after the first inning. It's not often the Phillies lose a game where they, at one point, were up four runs.

That was the case Wednesday night.

The Red Sox exploded for five runs in the fifth inning and went on to score eight unanswered to hand the Phillies an 8-6 loss.

This wasn't a pitcher's duel by any means when it came to the starters. Both Cristopher Sanchez and former Phillie Nick Pivetta only went four innings a piece. Where the Phillies got to Pivetta early, the Red Sox pounced in the fifth.

Boston had a couple of singles from David Hamilton, Ceddanne Rafaela and Jarren Duran to start the inning. A throwing error from Whit Merrifield scored two and it took some time to stop the bleeding.

Jose Ruiz replaced Sanchez and inherited two base runners with no outs. Three more runs scored before the Phillies were able to get out of the inning.

This was Sanchez's shortest outing since April 23 against the Reds, where he allowed five runs in the 8-1 loss.

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"Early it was a lot of sinkers, he wasn't mixing his pitches," manager Rob Thomson said about his starter. "He was behind in the count, so his command was off a little bit. Velo was there, wasn't commanding his fast ball, wasn't commanding his changeup. They were taking a lot of balls in the dirt, changeups in the dirt, he got behind in the count."

Spencer Turnbull, who came in to pitch the sixth inning, didn't have his best night. You can't necessarily knock him, though, since he hasn't pitched since June 1. There's a difference between being well-rested and rusty. Unfortunately for Turnbull, he was rusty. Thomson confirmed it.

"Rust, that's all it is," he said. "Guy hasn't pitched in 10 days or seen a hitter in 10 days. You can't lay that on him. It's just a lack of reps, that's all."

Turnbull gave up a two-run home run, allowed two hits and four walks.

On a night where you get offensive contributions from all but three in the lineup, it's a loss that just stings.

The Phillies jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the first inning. Bryson Stott had a 2-RBI night. Whit Merrifield, David Dahl and Bryce Harper all drove in runs. Nick Castellanos had a double and a triple. They were 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Still, the Phillies sit 10 games ahead of the Braves in the NL East.

It was an uncharacteristic night for a club that, through 67 games, has always found a way to bounce back quickly.

The three-game series wraps up Thursday with Aaron Nola (8-2, 2.77 ERA) on the mound for the Phillies. They'll face Tanner Houck (6-5, 1.91 ERA).

The Phillies then head to Baltimore for a weekend series against the Orioles to wrap up their road trip.

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