The top third of the Phillies’ lineup today contributed almost all of the offense today as the trio of Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera, and Andres Blanco combined to record half of the team’s hits and drive in all of the team’s runs this afternoon, but it wasn’t enough as the Pirates rallied to score the final three runs of the game and win by a final score of 5-4.
As I mentioned, the top three batters in the Phillies’ lineup provided basically all of the offense for the team today, and Blanco got the Phils on the board in the 1st inning with a solo home run to right center field that gave the Phillies the early 1-0 lead. Blanco would end up leaving the game in the 5th inning, however, after he fractured his left index finger while tagging out Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco. Blanco was replaced by Maikel Franco, who missed yesterday’s game with a sore left wrist, and it appears likely that Blanco will head to the DL. The Pirates would strike for two runs in the bottom of the 2nd on an RBI ground out by Elias Diaz and an RBI double by Sean Rodriguez to take it a 2-1 lead. Hernandez has been swinging a hot bat of late and Pete Mackanin decided to see what he could do out of the leadoff spot today, and he delivered big time. Hernandez tied the game up at 2 in the 3rd inning on an RBI triple to deep center field. Hernandez finished 3 for 5 on the day with a triple, an RBI, and a run scored. Herrera drove in the first of his two RBIs when he grounded out in the 3rd and plated Hernandez in the process to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Herrera wasn’t done as he hit his 11th home run of the year in the 6th inning, this one being a solo homer to center that gave the Phils a 4-2 lead. The Pirates would tie the game up in the bottom half of the 6th as Matt Joyce hit a two-run homer to center. The game-winning run came thanks to a solo homer to right by Adam Frazier in the 7th inning to give us our final score of 5-4.
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez didn’t have his best stuff today as he allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks in 6 innings of work, but he left in a tie game so he did not earn a decision in this afternoon’s game. Edubray Ramos suffered his first loss of his major league career this afternoon as he served up the eventual game-winning homer to Frazier in the 7th inning. Ramos now sits at 1-1 on the season with a 4.97 ERA. Pirates starter Jameson Taillon had a similar line to Velasquez as he allowed 4 runs in 6 innings of work while earning a no decision. Neftali Feliz picked up the win for the Pirates as he improves to 4-0 on the year with a 2.97 ERA. Mark Melancon picked up another save, his 2nd in a row, as he pitched a clean ninth inning on the way to picking up his 30th save of the season.
The Phillies will travel to Miami for a three game series against the Marlins to continue the team’s current road trip. The first game of that series will be tomorrow night at 7:10 p.m. at Marlins Park. Jeremy Hellickson (7-7, 3.84 ERA) is scheduled to start against Marlins starter and former Phillies prospect Jarred Cosart (0-1, 7.98 ERA). Hellickson has been linked to trade rumors with the Marlins and it was reported today that the Phillies were scouting the Marlin’s Gulf Coast League affiliate in preparation for a potential trade with the Marlins so that will be an interesting story to watch in tomorrow’s game.
Photo: Arturo Padavilla III (Wikimedia Commons)