The Phillies (36-45) hit the ball extremely well as a team during their recent road trip, as they went 5-4 and failed to record double-digit hits as a team in only one of those games. The team brought their hot bats home with them as the Phils put up 12 hits against the defending champion Kansas City Royals (42-37) and got just enough runs to squeak out a 4-3 victory, pushing the team’s current win streak to four.
Odubel Herrera got the Phillies on the board first tonight, as he homered to left center to lead off the game for the Phils and give the team a 1-0 lead. The Royals got the run back in the top of the 2nd thanks to an RBI single to right center off the bat of Cheslor Cuthbert. Maikel Franco answered back for the Phillies with a two-out RBI single to right field to give the Phils the 2-1 lead. Cody Asche has been hitting in the 3-hole over the last few games for Pete Mackanin and Asche continued to drive in runs tonight, like he has been since he returned from injury. Asche’s RBI single in the 5th inning gave the Phillies a 3-1 advantage. Herrera drove in his second run of the game thanks to an RBI single in the 6th that gave the Phillies a comfortable 4-1 lead. That lead got a lot less comfortable in the 8th inning after Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer to right to make it a one run game. Thankfully, the score would stay at 4-3 for the rest of the game and the Phils took home their fourth straight win. Herrera, Franco, Cameron Rupp, and Cesar Hernandez all recorded multiple hits for the Phillies in tonight’s ballgame.
Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson turned in a very good performance for the team on the mound tonight, as he went 6 strong innings and allowed just one run on 5 hits and a walk while striking out 6 batters. Hellickson improves to 6-6 on the year with a 4.06 ERA thanks to tonight’s victory. Edubray Ramos relieved Hellickson in the 7th and provided a scoreless inning of relief. David Hernandez allowed the two-run home run to Morales in the 8th, but still did his job as he did not surrender the lead. Jeanmar Gomez came in for the save in the 9th inning, and he did his job perfectly as he pitched a perfect 9th inning on the way to earning his 22nd save of the season. Royals starter Ian Kennedy suffered the loss in tonight’s contest, as he allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks in just 5 innings. Kennedy falls to 6-7 on the year with a 4.04 ERA after tonight’s loss.
The Phillies and Royals will meet again tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park for the second of three games in this weekend interleague series. Phillies starter Aaron Nola (5-7, 4.45 ERA) takes on Royals lefty Danny Duffy (3-1, 3.24 ERA) tomorrow night at 5:50 p.m. Nola will look to go more than 4 innings for the first time in a month and hopefully return to the All-Star level he was pitching at for the first 2 months of the season. Nola and the Phillies will be looking to extend their current winning streak to 5 games as they look to clinch a series victory against the defending champs.
Photo by Brian Schwenk (via Flickr)