Coming off a challenging stretch of games mostly filled with setbacks and one unimaginable defeat, the Philadelphia Phillies needed a relaxed evening at the ballpark.
Jean Segura and Rhys Hoskins hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning, Ranger Suárez tossed six strong innings and the Phillies cruised to a 9-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.
“To come out here and kind of make the first punch is something. We'll try and ride that momentum into the next couple of days,” Hoskins said.
The Phillies had dropped five of six before opening their West Coast swing with a victory on their first visit to Seattle since 2017. Philadelphia had a season-high 17 hits.
Segura’s fourth homer of the season was a line drive out to left-center field against the team he played for in 2017 and 2018. Hoskins followed by golfing a shot down the left-field line off starter Chris Flexen for his third long ball.
Nick Castellanos finished with three hits, including two doubles. Castellanos' RBI double in the fourth was the start of a three-run inning off Flexen.
The Phillies added three more runs off reliever Diego Castillo in the seventh, with Castellanos, Segura and Hoskins all driving in runs. Castillo has allowed nine earned runs in his past three appearances.
The Mariners snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over Tampa Bay on Sunday, but the offense remains underwhelming. Seattle has scored three runs or fewer in 10 of its past 13 games.
Rookie Julio Rodríguez was the lone bright spot for Seattle with the second three-hit game of his young career. Aside from Rodríguez, the only other Seattle hit off Suárez was an infield single from Jesse Winker.
Suárez (3-1) struck out a season-high seven in his best performance of the season.
“When you have a shutout game like that it gives you a lot of confidence. It’s a confidence booster,” Suárez said through an interpreter. “It’s not only a confidence booster for me. I really have to thank my defense and the team like team like overall.”
Philadelphia manager Joe Girardi said Suarez's performance was amplified by the amount of pitchers the Phillies needed to get through Sunday's doubleheader against the New York Mets. Earlier in that series, the bullpen blew a six-run lead in the ninth inning of an 8-7 loss.
“We wanted to try to give some guys a day off. We didn’t want to have to use them all again today,” Girardi said. “He just made pitches and I think he probably threw his best fastballs the last couple in the final inning. That just shows you how hard he works that he still has a little extra in the tank when he needs it.”
Flexen (1-5) had not allowed more than three earned runs in his first five starts. The six earned runs were the most since last July, when he gave up seven runs to Houston.
“I missed over the plate, fell behind at times,” Flexen said. “They did what they were supposed to do with some of those pitches."
Relief pitchers Danny Young for Seattle and Francisco Morales for Philadelphia both made their major league debuts in the seventh inning. Young allowed two hits in 1 1/3 innings. Morales tossed two innings with three strikeouts.
Phillies: Girardi said there’s no change in the status of RHP Zach Eflin and RHP Zack Wheeler after both were placed on the COVID-19 IL on Sunday. Girardi said neither is expected to be available until the team gets to Los Angeles on Thursday. … Girardi said he’s unsure who will start in Wednesday’s series finale in Seattle.
Mariners: SS J.P. Crawford was out of the lineup for a second straight game due to back spasms. Seattle manager Scott Servais said Crawford was feeling better and after taking some swings pregame was expected to be back in the lineup on Tuesday.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (1-3, 3.38) looks to snap a personal three-game losing streak and pick up his first win since April 8. Nola has four earned runs over his past 20 innings pitched but has two no decisions and a loss during that stretch.
Mariners: LHP Robbie Ray (2-3, 4.38) looks to rebound from losses in his past two starts. Ray allowed four earned runs in his last outing against Tampa Bay. He allowed three earned runs in his previous start against Miami, also a loss.