Instant Replay: Phillies 3, Twins 2

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Instant Replay: Phillies 3, Twins 2

BOX SCORE

MINNEAPOLIS -- Cliff Lee pitched a gem (and got just enough run support) and the beleaguered bullpen protected a late lead as the Phillies snapped a season-long five-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.

The Phillies are 32-35.

They are 2-5 on this 10-game road trip.

Starting pitching report
Lee retired the first 10 batters he faced and the minimum through six innings. He took a 1-0 lead to the mound in the seventh, allowed a one-out walk and a bang-bang infield hit. With two outs, Lee hung an 0-2 cutter and Justin Morneau lined it to the gap in left-center to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.

The Phillies rallied for two runs in the top of the eighth to get Lee the lead before he was officially out of the game.

In all, Lee went seven innings, allowed just three hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out six.

He is 8-2 on the season and 7-1 in 10 starts following a loss.

Minnesota starter Kevin Correia allowed eight hits but just one run over five innings. He threw 112 pitches in those five innings and pitched in constant trouble, but the Phillies stranded 10 runners while he was in the game.

Bullpen report
Struggling Mike Adams had a clean eighth inning to protect a one-run lead.

Jonathan Papelbon converted the save in his first save opportunity since May 29. He is 12 for 12.

Twins right-hander Jared Burton gave up the lead in the top of the eighth.

At the plate
Ben Revere, batting leadoff, followed up a three-hit game Wednesday night with four hits and two runs scored.

Pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen started the Phillies’ decisive two-run rally in the eighth with a double to right. He moved up on Revere’s bunt hit and scored on Michael Young’s RBI single to right. Running on contact, Revere scooted home from third with the go-ahead run on Jimmy Rollins’ slow grounder to first.

Ryan Howard had three singles and drove home the Phils’ first run.

Delmon Young struck out twice and grounded into a double play with multiple runners on base each time.

The Phillies had 16 hits but just two were for extra bases. They left 16 men on base and were 4 for 16 with runners in scoring position.

In the field
Minnesota rightfielder Ryan Doumit threw out Michael Young at the plate for the final out in the top of the sixth as the Phils got nothing to show for three straight two-out singles.

Twins leftfielder Oswaldo Arcia made a terrific sliding catch against the wall in foul territory on a pop up by Freddy Galvis to end the top of the seventh.

Health check
Carlos Ruiz will begin a minor-league rehab assignment Saturday with the Triple A Lehigh Valley club. The plan is for him to be activated a week from Friday (see story).

Transactions
Michael Martinez replaced Cesar Hernandez, who was sent to Triple A. Pitcher Tyler Cloyd was sent to Triple A and lefty reliever Jake Diekman will take his place on the roster Friday in Denver. John Lannan will come off the DL on Monday and pitch against his former Washington team in Philadelphia (see story).

Up next
The trip continues Friday night with the first of three in Denver against the Colorado Rockies. Pitching matchups:

Friday night -- RH Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 3.22) vs. RH Tyler Chatwood (3-1, 2.14)

Saturday afternoon -- RH Jonathan Pettibone (3-2, 3.70) vs. RH Juan Nicasio (4-2, 4.61)

Sunday afternoon -- LH Cole Hamels (2-9, 4.45) vs. RH Jhoulys Chacin (4-3, 4.52)

The Rockies got a little banged up in Thursday’s loss to the Nationals. Troy Tulowitzki, ranked in the top five in the NL in batting average, homers and RBIs, suffered a broke rib and is headed for the DL MRI. Carlos Gonzalez, ranked in the top five in the NL in homers and RBIs, was hit in the foot with a foul as he stood in the on-deck circle. Dexter Fowler was hit by a pitch on the hand. Both are day to day.

Best of MLB: Aaron Judge gets 44th home run as Yankees beat Twins

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Best of MLB: Aaron Judge gets 44th home run as Yankees beat Twins

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his 44th home run, Aroldis Chapman pitched out of big trouble in the eighth inning and the New York Yankees edged the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Monday night to increase their AL wild-card lead.

Todd Frazier hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the sixth, and Jaime Garcia gave the Yankees a splendid performance against the team that traded him this year after only one start. New York, still chasing first-place Boston in the AL East, won the opener of a three-game series that could serve as a potential postseason preview two weeks from now.

The Yankees have built a five-game cushion for the league's top wild card with 12 to play. Minnesota is in the second spot, 1 1/2 games ahead of the idle Los Angeles Angels. So if the standings hold, New York will host the Twins in the one-game playoff on Oct. 3. (see full recap).

Olson, Lowrie lead Oakland past in Detroit
DETROIT -- Matt Olson homered, Jed Lowrie drove in three runs and the Oakland Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers 8-3 on Monday night.

Olson became the first A's player to homer in four straight games since Coco Crisp in 2013, and now has 14 home runs in his last 20 games.

Tigers reliever Jeff Ferrell left the game in the eighth inning after getting hit in the head with a line drive off the bat off Ryon Healy. The hit was measured at 102.6 mph by StatCast and hit Ferrell in the right side of the head.

He never went down, but jogged immediately toward the Detroit dugout and was escorted to the clubhouse.

Nicholas Castellanos had three hits for the Tigers, extending his career-best hitting streak to 15 games (see full recap).

Stanton hits 55th homer to help Marlins beat Mets
MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton hit his 55th homer -- and his first in nine days -- while driving in four runs to help the Miami Marlins beat the New York Mets 13-1 Monday night.

Batting third for the first time this year, Stanton hit a three-run line drive into the home run sculpture at Marlins Park in the fourth inning against Matt Harvey (5-6). With that, the MLB home run leader ended a drought of 29 at-bats without one.

Stanton's homer total is the highest since Ryan Howard hit 58 in 2006. Stanton added a run-scoring single in Miami's seven-run fifth.

The Marlins, back home after a trip extended by three games due to Hurricane Irma, won for only the fourth time in the past 21 games.

Marcell Ozuna had four hits, including his 34th home run. Dee Gordon also had four hits, among them a two-run triple. Ichiro Suzuki added two hits and an RBI, while rookie Brian Anderson drove in two runs with his first career triple.

Stanton came into the game batting .147 in his previous 19 games. He has been rested and held out of the starting lineup three times in the past 10 games, including Sunday (see full recap).

Suter, Braun help Brewers beat Bucs to gain in playoff race
PITTSBURGH -- Brent Suter pitched five efficient innings, Ryan Braun homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0 on Monday night to gain ground in the NL playoff chase.

Milwaukee pulled within 3 1/2 games of the Cubs in the NL Central and two games behind the Rockies for the final NL wild card. Chicago and Colorado were both off Monday.

Suter (3-2) allowed five hits and struck out four, throwing just 64 pitches before handing off to the bullpen. Five relievers split the final four innings, with Corey Knebel pitching the ninth for his 36th save in 41 tries.

Braun's solo shot, his 17th of the season, came in the fourth inning off starter Jameson Taillon (7-7). In the sixth inning, former Pirates infielder Neil Walker added on with an RBI single that ended Taillon's night.

Taillon had his last turn in the rotation skipped after a poor start Sept. 7 and rebounded by giving up two runs and six hits in five innings. Taillon walked one and struck out four.

Travis Shaw hit an RBI single to score Walker in the eighth. It was Shaw's team-leading 96th RBI this year. Braun, Shaw and Walker each had two hits (see full recap).

Behind grand slam, Aaron Altherr, Phillies take down Clayton Kershaw, MLB-best Dodgers

Behind grand slam, Aaron Altherr, Phillies take down Clayton Kershaw, MLB-best Dodgers

BOX SCORE

There was no way the Phillies were winning this game, right? Seriously, best team in the majors against one of the worst. Nick Pivetta carried a 6.75 ERA into his start — that's the fifth-highest ever by a Phillies pitcher in a season in which he'd pitched at least 110 innings — and he was facing one of the best pitchers in the game in Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night.

Kershaw, a three-time National League Cy Young award winner, entered with the best ERA in the majors — 2.12 — and he'd allowed just one run in 31 innings in his previous four starts against the Phillies.

What's more, five players in the Phillies' lineup had never faced Kershaw, and usually, the advantage goes to the pitcher in those situations.

So what happens?

The Phillies win the game, 4-3, and one of those players who'd never faced Kershaw accounts for all the runs with a grand slam, the first one that Kershaw has allowed in his career (see observations).

"That's obviously pretty special to be the first one to do that," said Aaron Altherr, who provided the grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning. It turned a 2-0 Phillies' deficit into a 4-2 lead.

"I definitely don't take it for granted. He's obviously a really good pitcher. I just thank God I was able to get a pitch to hit.

"You try to make it just another game when you face him, but deep down you know it's really not because of how good he is and how good he's been over the years. He's a future Hall of Famer. So it's definitely awesome to be able to play against a guy like that."

And beat him.

"Boy, that was fun, any time you beat Kershaw, it’s really nice to see," manager Pete Mackanin said.

Kershaw is now 17-4 with a 2.26 ERA.

While Altherr's grand slam was the big blow, it wasn't the only important contribution from the Phillies' side.

Pivetta (6-10) allowed a pair of solo homers on the first five pitches of the game — one was a leadoff, inside-the-park homer to Chris Taylor — but settled down nicely and followed with five scoreless innings to give his team a chance.

Pivetta, who'd allowed 13 runs in 10 innings in his previous two starts, gave up just two hits (both singles) and a walk after the first inning. He finished with eight strikeouts. His stingy work over his final five innings kept the Phillies in the game until Altherr's heroics with two outs in the sixth.

"The thing I like about him is he really thinks he’s good, he really believes in himself," Mackanin said of Pivetta. "He didn’t quit and he keeps battling, that’s the thing I like about him the most, along with his stuff."

The Phillies' decisive sixth inning against Kershaw started with a pinch-hit walk by Ty Kelly and included a one-out single by Freddy Galvis and a two-out, full-count walk by Rhys Hoskins. Altherr followed with his grand slam.

"It was nice to do something like that but it honestly wasn't all me," Pivetta said. "I wouldn't have gotten that win if Altherr hadn't hit that grand slam and it wouldn't even have started if Ty didn't get that walk and Freddy didn't get that hit and we didn't get another walk, so the guys putting up good ABs in that situation was really nice to see. This win goes out to the team around me and not just me. I mean, yes, I put in five shutout innings after that, but just having those guys pick me up at the end, I think that's what really contributed to this win. It was a nice little boost because I haven't been doing the best lately."

Altherr's grand slam came on a hanging, 1-1 slider. It came off the bat at 107 mph and landed 418 feet from home plate in the second deck above left field.

"I was just telling myself not to get beat," Altherr said. "The first two at-bats, I got jammed. I just wanted to make sure I got the head out. I think he threw me a slider again. I was finally able to get the barrel to it."

The bullpen made the lead stand up, though Hector Neris allowed a solo homer to Curtis Granderson in the ninth to make it a one-run game. Back on April 29, Neris allowed three ninth-inning homers to blow a lead at Dodger Stadium. It was one of the Phillies' worst losses of the season.

"I thought about that right at the start of the inning," Mackanin admitted. "I’m sure he was thinking about it. But the thing I liked about him is he looked like he was eager to go right after the hitters, even when he gave up the home run, he didn’t back off. He went right after them, which was nice to see."