Coming into tonight’s game, most fans were probably expecting a pitcher’s duel with young, promising Phillies starter Zach Eflin taking the mound against one of the best pitchers in the league, Madison Bumgarner. The game turned out to be anything but that as the Phillies (49-59) got on top early, fell behind in the middle innings, and then made a comeback in the late innings to top the Giants (61-45) 13-8 in what was a true slug fest. Aaron Altherr drove in two of his RBIs on a base hit to center field that gave the Phillies the lead back in the bottom of the 8th inning, in what would be the game-winning hit for the Phils.
The Phillies’ offense was all over Madison Bumgarner in the first two innings as they put up six runs on the Giants’ ace. Altherr got things going early as he hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 1st, and an RBI single in the bottom of the 2nd to put the Phillies up 3-0. Maikel Franco followed up Altherr with a three-run shot to left field to make it 6-0 Phillies after 2. The Giants scored 6 runs of their own in the 4th and 5th innings, led by a three-run home run by Brandon Belt, to tie the game at 6. Tommy Joseph put the Phils back on top in the bottom of the 5th with an RBI single, but the Giants would score two more in the top of the 6th to take an 8-7 lead. Franco delivered again in the bottom half of the 6th as he tied the game up at 8 with an RBI single to center. Altherr broke the game open with a two-RBI single to center that put the Phillies up for good in the 8th inning. Cameron Rupp put the icing on the cake with a three-run opposite field home run that gave the Phillies the 13-8 lead, and our final score. The top three hitters in the Phillies’ lineup (Hernandez, Altherr, and Franco) combined for 11 of the team’s 15 hits and were the main reason the offense was as successful as it was tonight.
Phillies starter Eflin was cruising along in tonight’s game until the 5th inning came and the Giants put up a five spot to tie the game at 6. Eflin was bailed out by the Phillies’ offense and did not factor into the decision in tonight’s game. Eflin allowed 6 runs on 6 hits 3 walks in just 5 innings of work. Hector Neris picked up his 4th win of the season as he pitched a scoreless 8th inning and the Phillies took the lead for the final time in the bottom half of the 8th. Neris now sits at 4-3 on the year with a 2.47 ERA. Jeanmar Gomez did not earn a save in tonight’s game, but he did pitch a scoreless 9th inning to close out the game. Like Eflin, Giants starter Bumgarner was bailed out by his offense. Bumgarner also received a no-decision as he allowedd 8 runs (4 earned) on 10 hits and 2 walks in just 5 innings. Newly acquired Giants reliever Will Smith suffered the loss in his first appearance with the team. Smith is now 1-4 on the season with a 4.43 ERA.
The Phiillies and Giants will play the second game of this three game series tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. Aaron Nola (6-9, 4.78 ERA) is set to take the mound tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. against the other Giants ace Johnny Cueto (13-3, 2.63 ERA). Nola will look to rebound from a rough go of it in his last start and help the Phillies beat Cueto and the Giants to clinch a series victory.
Photo: Eddie Hales (Flickr.com)