The Phillies broke out the lumber and rolled to a 10-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday afternoon.
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The Phillies took two of three games from the Giants, who are 55-54.
The series win was the Phillies' first against a team with a winning record in two months. The Phils took two of three from the San Diego Padres from June 3-5. The Padres entered that series with a winning record.
The Phillies, who entered the day a half-game out of the second NL wild-card spot, are 57-51.
Despite the victory and a 12-hit offensive attack, there was reason for concern for the Phillies. Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta failed to get an out in the fifth inning in a blowout. He has been pitching with a bone spur in his right elbow and getting through the middle innings has been a major issue for him. One has to wonder how much longer can he continue to pitch. Time will tell.
He was good for four innings as his team built a 9-0 lead. He allowed just two hits, a walk and no runs over that span. Arrieta was unable to stick around for five innings and get the win. The first three batters of the fifth reached base on an error and two singles and manager Gabe Kapler went to the bullpen.
Arrieta's fastball was 93 mph in the early innings. It was down to 90 mph in the fifth.
Stars being stars
One day after general manager Matt Klentak said the team needed its star players to lead a stretch-drive surge, J.T. Realmuto delivered a single, a double and a three-run homer. He also scored three runs.
Realmuto is 9 for 20 over the last five games. Three of those hits are homers and two are doubles.
The Phillies could really use Scott Kingery to get hot. He hit just .192 (19 for 99) in July and the Phils missed his bat. He hit leadoff most of the month. Kapler has used Kingery in the No. 6 spot in the batting order the last two games. Kingery responded with three hits, including a two-run single, on Thursday.
Cesar Hernandez batted leadoff and had a big day with a two-run double and a homer.
Dickerson, Vargas due on Friday
Outfielder Corey Dickerson and pitcher Jason Vargas, both acquired in trades this week, will join the team Friday for the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. Vargas will be the Phillies' starting pitcher against Chicago's Ivan Nova on Friday night.
The Phillies will have to make two roster moves to open spots for Dickerson and Vargas.
Neris begins suspension
The Phillies played down a man as reliever Hector Neris began serving a three-game suspension. The Phils will have to play with 24 men on Friday and Saturday, as well.
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