After a weak showing in which they produced just seven hits and two runs in losing a doubleheader to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon, the Phillies' bats awakened with a vengeance in a 13-8 trouncing of those same Braves on Monday night.
The Phillies had 14 hits, five of which were homers.
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Aaron Nola was the beneficiary of the run support, not that he needed all of them. The right-hander was magnificent for the second straight outing as he won for the first time since August 20 of last season. Nola was 0-5 in nine starts since then and the team had lost all of those games.
The Phils ended up splitting the four-game series with the Braves. Before that, the Phils split a four-game series with the New York Yankees. The Phils are 5-6. Atlanta is 11-7.
It's hard to believe Nola went that long between wins. Not all of it was his fault. He struck out 12 and walked none over six innings in his last start against the Yankees but the offense was lacking and the bullpen was hit hard in that game.
Nola picked right up where he left off against the Yankees in this game. He threw an economical 89 pitches over eight innings. He allowed just two hits, one of which was a homer. He walked one and struck out 10. Over his last two starts, he has walked one and struck out 22.
Nola exited with a 13-1 lead. Relievers Nick Pivetta and Trevor Kelley did their best to let the Braves back in the game by allowing seven runs in the ninth. Pivetta was charged with six of the runs. He got one out. This bullpen ...
Nola vs. Atlanta
Nola is 11-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 19 career starts against the Braves. It's not easy to dominate a club when they see you that much. You have to be good. Your stuff has to be sharp. And you can't be predictable. Nola threw 34 fastballs, 32 changeup and 23 curveballs.
Bryce Harper (No. 3), J.T. Realmuto (No. 5), Didi Gregorius (No. 3), Roman Quinn (No. 1) and Jean Segura (No. 1) all hit home runs.
The Phillies actually hit for the cycle in home runs. Segura and Quinn hit solo shots, Realmuto hit a two-run shot, Harper a three-run shot and Gregorius a grand slam.
The Phils have scored 55 runs this season and 33 (60 percent) have come via home runs.
Manager Joe Girardi gave Andrew McCutchen the night off and used Phil Gosselin as his DH/leadoff man.
Gosselin had another good night with a pair of singles, a walk and two runs scored. He is 8 for 17 on the season.
Gosselin helped the Phils get off to a quick start. He and Rhys Hoskins singled against Sean Newcomb in the first inning and Harper followed with a three-run homer.
Gregorius smacked his grand slam in the second as the Phils built a 10-1 lead. It was one of three homers the Phils hit in the second inning.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this was the first time the Phillies had ever scored 10 runs and hit four homers in the first two innings of a game.
Harper took a pitch off the back of the right hand during his at-bat in the second inning. Though the pitch was a changeup from Newcomb, it hit Harper squarely and he was in some pain. Harper was wearing a pad on the back of his right hand and that may have saved him from injury. He stayed in the game.
The Phils open a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night. Zack Wheeler, who has been brilliant in his first two starts with the Phillies, will pitch against right-hander Alex Cobb (1-1, 2.51). Wheeler is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA.