Phillies Suffer No Hangover, Pull Off Maybe Best Series Win of Season


Defensively, the Phillies looked slightly hungover from their marathon the night before, but the offense more than did its part in Wednesday's 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Phils jumped on highly-touted young right-hander Walker Buehler for a five-run fifth inning en route to a series win over one of baseball's hottest teams.

At 57-44, the Phillies are 1½ games ahead of the Braves in the NL East and own the National League's second-best record.

Carlos Santana had the game's biggest hit, a bases-clearing triple to right-center with two outs in the fifth. 

This was the 48th time in 101 games - so nearly half the games they've played - that the Phillies forced an opposing starting pitcher out in five innings or less.

As much as Phillies fans love to criticize Santana's batting average, he's been a clutch player this season. His OPS with runners in scoring position is over 1.000, and with two outs and runners in scoring position, it's a gaudy 1.201.

Rhys Hoskins homered earlier in the game, his fourth in five games. Hoskins is up to 18 homers on the season, matching his 2018 total. In the span of five games, his slugging percentage has risen by nearly 40 points.

Scott Kingery also had a nice offensive game, hitting an opposite-field homer in the fifth and just missing a homer to left the following inning.

Quality start for Arrieta

This was an interesting matchup for Jake Arrieta in his 20th start as a Phillie. He entered with great career numbers against these hitters - active Dodgers were a combined 8 for 70 (.114) with one home run. 

But Arrieta is heavily reliant on ground balls and the Dodgers have put the ball on the ground less than any National League team.

Arrieta got the job done, allowing three runs (two earned) over six innings with six strikeouts. Five of the six strikeouts were looking, including two of Manny Machado, who looked lost this entire series.

Arrieta improves to 8-6 with a 3.45 ERA. Now, he hopes to build some momentum. Arrieta hasn't made three straight quality starts at any point in 2018.

More shaky defense

Arrieta was able to work around three errors. Andrew Knapp committed two errors on throws to second base in the first inning, and a ball slipped out of Jesmuel Valentin's hand on a routine throw to first to begin the fifth inning. In the eighth inning, Seranthony Dominguez threw two wild pitches past Knapp.

The pair of errors behind the plate gives Phillies catchers 16 on the season, a whopping seven more than any team in the NL.

Knapp did rebound later in the game to make a strong throw to third to nail Kiké Hernandez attempting to advance on a ball in the dirt.

No hangover

Teams this season that had lost a game of 14 or more innings were 9-3 the next day. It seems like that number would be opposite given how demoralizing a six-hour loss can be.

The Phils made it 9-4.

Up next

The Phillies head to Cincinnati for a four-game series. They're catching the Reds at a decent time because Cincy has cooled off after a red-hot few weeks.

Still, it's an incredibly dangerous offense with Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett.

Left-hander Ranger Suarez will make his MLB debut Thursday night, marking the first time in 267 games the Phillies will start a lefty.

Thursday night at 7:10 - LHP Ranger Suarez vs. Tyler Mahle (7-8, 4.32)

Friday night at 7:10 - Nick Pivetta (6-8, 4.69) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (4-3, 5.40)

Saturday night at 6:40 - Vince Velasquez (7-8, 4.05) vs. Matt Harvey (5-6, 5.21)

Sunday afternoon at 1:10 - Zach Eflin (7-2, 3.41) vs. Luis Castillo (5-8, 5.30)

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