Phillies-Marlins observations: Nick Williams delivers in 15-inning win

Phillies-Marlins observations: Nick Williams delivers in 15-inning win

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The legend of Rhys Hoskins grew a little larger Tuesday night and the Phillies beat the Miami Marlins, 9-8, in 15 innings.

Hoskins helped the Phillies come back from a 7-2 deficit with his 15th homer, a solo shot in the seventh. Three innings later, he tied the game with his 16th homer, a bomb over the wall in center on a 100-mph fastball from Brian Ellington.

The Phillies won it in the 15th on an RBI double by rookie Nick Williams. The bullpen was spectacular with 10 innings of one-run ball.

The time of game was four hours, 57 minutes.

The late innings were wild. The Phillies thought they won the game in the bottom of the ninth, but an overturned call meant they only tied it.

Miami went ahead on a homer by Marcell Ozuna in the top of the 10th and Hoskins tied it with a two-out homer in the bottom of the inning.

• Miami rightfielder Giancarlo Stanton had three assists.

He gunned down Cesar Hernandez at the plate in the bottom of the ninth to prevent the Phillies from scoring the winning run.

Actually, the Phillies thought they had scored the winning run on Hyun Soo Kim's pinch-hit single to right. As Phillies players mobbed Kim at first base, dousing him with bubble gum and tearing his shirt off, the Marlins challenged the initial safe call at the plate — and won. That left Kim with a game-tying single and the grounds crew scurrying to clean up the remnants of the Phillies' premature celebration at first base.

Stanton, known for his booming bat, had assists at second, third and home.

• Rookie Nick Pivetta had another tough outing. He was tagged for eight hits and seven runs over five-plus innings. Derek Deitrich got him for a two-run homer on a hanging 3-2 changeup in the fifth. Pivetta has allowed 18 hits and 13 runs in his last two starts. The 24-year-old right-hander was forced to the majors because of injuries and has endured a tough learning experience that he ultimately should be better for. Pivetta has good power stuff. He needs to locate it better and clean up up his changeup. The Phillies are going to a six-man starting rotation the rest of the way. Pivetta would line up to have three more starts if the Phils stay on turn.

• Dillon Peters, Miami's rookie lefty, held the Phils to six hits and two runs over six innings. He's made three big-league starts, two against the Phillies. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Phils on Sept. 1.

• Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto twice doubled home Justin Bour from first base. The Phils may have had plays at the plate both times, but catcher Jorge Alfaro did not handle either relay throw. Now, neither play was easy — one throw tailed a little to Alfaro's left and the other was a short hop — but these are the types of plays that a top defensive catcher needs to make at times. Alfaro also had a passed ball in the game. Alfaro had an RBI single in the eighth inning, but his defense remains a work in progress. He will get plenty of playing time over the final three weeks of the season.

• Odudel Herrera deserves props for the effort he displayed on the bases in beating out an infield hit — with a hard dive into first base — in the third inning and with a hustle double in the fourth. Herrera did not start on Sunday and came back from Monday's off day in the schedule with some serious hop in his step. He had three hits.

• Rookies Williams and J.P. Crawford both tested rightfielder Stanton's arm and lost. Williams was thrown out trying to stretch a single. Crawford was caught via a relay trying to stretch a double. Stanton had his third assist of the game in the ninth inning.

• Hoskins will get more time at first base down the stretch. He continued to show excellent plate discipline with two walks, including one with the bases full in the third inning. And, of course, he homered twice. Hoskins came to the majors on Aug. 10 and hit his first homer four days later. His 16 homers since Aug. 14 are the most in the majors over that span. Amazingly, he could end up leading the Phillies in homers. He trails team leader Tommy Joseph by five with 18 games left.

• Hoskins found himself in the spotlight in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Phillies had rallied for three runs to make it a one-run game and he came to the plate with two outs and two men on. He scorched a line drive to left field against reliever Drew Steckenrider. With any type of elevation, it would have been a three-run homer. But the ball stayed on a line and died in Ozuna's glove.

• Crawford started at second base for the first time and made an eye-popping play. It took 22 plate appearances for him to draw his first walk. (He had two in the game.) His second double of the game plated a run in the eighth.

• Right-handed reliever Victor Arano made his major-league debut and recorded two outs in the seventh. Arano, 22, was acquired from the Dodgers in the August 2014 trade that sent pitcher Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers. Arano was slowed this season by an elbow injury, but he's back on track and throwing in the mid-90s. He could be someone to keep an eye on down the road.

• Aaron Nola (10-10, 3.71) pitches against Marlins right-hander Dan Straily (9-8, 3.95) on Wednesday night. The Marlins have given Nola some trouble in his career. He is 1-3 with a 5.24 ERA in six career starts against them.

Rhys Hoskins' epic at-bat finishes in heroics as Phillies knock off Dodgers again

Rhys Hoskins' epic at-bat finishes in heroics as Phillies knock off Dodgers again

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The attendance at Citizens Bank Park for Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers was just 20,145.

Years from now, it will be quadruple that.

Everyone will say they were there the night Rhys Hoskins went toe-to-toe with Pedro Baez's high-octane fastball and delivered the big hit that helped lift the Phillies to an emotional 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers (see observations).

Hoskins, the Phillies' rookie sensation, had four RBIs in the game, all of them coming on full-count hits in the sixth and seventh innings.

He got the Phillies on the board with an RBI single against Dodgers starter Yu Darvish in sixth inning.

Then, with two outs in the seventh, he lashed a tie-breaking, three-run double to left-center, capping an intense, 10-pitch at-bat in which he saw 10 straight fastballs from Baez. Every pitch in the at-bat ranged from 96 to 98 miles per hour. Hoskins fouled off four straight full-count fastballs before delivering the bases-clearing double.

Hoskins has electrified the Phillies with 18 home runs in a little more than a month, but his reaction to the go-ahead double suggested it might have ranked No. 1 on his personal hit chart. When he reached second base, he raised his arms and pointed euphorically at the dugout, where his teammates were going wild.

"Big situation against a pretty good team," a calmer Hoskins said afterward. "I think the 10-pitch at-bat probably had something to do with it.

"Obviously, the guy throws pretty hard, so he likes his fastball. He made some good pitches, too, with good strikes, not really anything in the middle of the plate. I was just lucky enough to put a good swing on the last one."

The Dodgers aren't just a pretty good team, as Hoskins described them. They are the best team in baseball. The Phillies have the second-worst record in the game. But the Phils have managed to beat the Dodgers two nights in a row — with two of the top pitchers in the game on the mound. The Phils beat three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw on Monday night. Darvish took a no-decision in Tuesday night's game.

Hoskins has played a big role in both wins. He drew a two-out walk against Kershaw in the sixth inning of Monday night's win to extend the inning for Aaron Altherr. Altherr clubbed a decisive grand slam.

Tuesday night's four-RBI performance left Hoskins with 43 in 39 games. Only Albert Pujols had more RBIs (44) in the first 39 games of his career. Joe DiMaggio had 42 RBIs in his first 39 games.

Hoskins' plate discipline and selectivity are already stuff of legend. He saw 30 pitches in four trips to the plate.

"The longer I’m in there, the more pitches I see, the more comfortable I start to feel," he said. "I’m kind of able to hone in on the timing, which is pretty important for me. The more you see it, the more you know what it looks like, the more comfortable you get."

Manager Pete Mackanin marveled at Hoskins' ability to work pitchers into fastball counts.

"He’s not going to get himself out," Mackanin said. "He’s not going to expand the strike zone, which makes him a good hitter. I’m glad we have him. I always think he’s going to do something special the deeper he goes into the count."

Aaron Nola was grateful for Hoskins' big hit in the seventh inning. It made him a winner.

"He was fouling balls off at his neck," said Nola, describing Hoskins' showdown with Baez. "So you get a ball a little bit lower, you knew he was going to time it up finally. He saw 30 pitches in the game. It was just a matter of time that he was going to make them pay for it and he did."

The Phillies are 18-14 at home since the All-Star break. They were once on a collision course for 100 losses. Now they need to win just three of their final 11 games to avoid their first 100-loss season since 1961.

The Dodgers came into Tuesday night's game with a magic number of three to wrap up the NL West title. They will be in Philadelphia for two more days. The Phillies will continue to try to prevent champagne from being sprayed in their ballpark.

"Experience-wise for some of us young guys, this is pretty invaluable," Hoskins said of the competitive atmosphere. "They’re still trying to clinch their division, so it’s just good baseball."

So good that more than 20,145 will say they were there someday.

Best of MLB: Cubs top Rays in Joe Maddon's return to Tampa, push win streak to 7

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Best of MLB: Cubs top Rays in Joe Maddon's return to Tampa, push win streak to 7

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- Mike Montgomery took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, Kyle Schwarber hit his 28th home run and the Chicago Cubs extended their winning streak to a season-high seven by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Tuesday in manager Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field.

Maddon managed the Rays from 2006-14, then left to manage Chicago and last year led the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. Chicago entered with a 3 -game lead over second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

A crowd of 25,046, the largest at the Trop since opening day, gave Maddon a standing ovation in the middle of the first inning.

"I thought it was a quick nine years," he said of his time with the Rays. "I try to stay in the present tense, but that was a fast nine years and I have nothing but warm and fuzzies about it."

Montgomery (7-8) allowed one hit in six innings, a one-out homer in the sixth by Brad Miller. Montgomery struck out six, walked one and hit his first batter, Kevin Kiermaier.

Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis each followed with an inning of perfect relief to complete the one-hitter. Davis struck out the side and remained perfect in 32 save chances.

Schwarber homered in the second and Javier Baez hit an RBI double in the fifth against Chris Archer (9-11), who gave up four hits in six innings. Archer struck out six, riaising his total to 241 -- 11 shy of the team record he set two years ago. He is 2-6 in his last 14 starts (see full recap).

Brewers hold off Pirates to keep pace in NL Central
PITTSBURGH -- Chase Anderson had eight strikeouts in six innings, Domingo Santana homered and the Milwaukee Brewers shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second straight day, 1-0 on Tuesday night.

The Brewers won for the ninth time in 11 games, keeping pace in the NL Central and wild-card races. They won for the fourth time in the past seven days against reeling Pittsburgh, which has lost a season-high seven consecutive games and 12 of 13.

It was the 12th shutout of the season for the Brewers, tied for the second-most in the NL.

Anderson (11-3) allowed five singles. Anthony Swarzak retired six of the seven batters he faced, and Corey Knebel earned a save with a perfect ninth. Seven of his 39 saves this season have come against the Pirates (see full recap).

Wild pitch in extras sends Red Sox past Orioles
BALTIMORE -- Jackie Bradley Jr. scored the game's lone run on a wild pitch by Brad Brach in the 11th inning, and the Boston Red Sox used six pitchers to silence the Baltimore Orioles' bats in a 1-0 victory Tuesday night.

Boston has won 10 of 13 to move a season-high 23 games over .500 (87-64) and draw closer to clinching a postseason berth. The Red Sox started the day with a three-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees in the AL East.

It was the second straight tight, lengthy game between these AL East rivals. Boston won in 11 innings on Monday night and is 15-3 in extra-inning games.

With a runner on second and two outs in the 11th, Brach (4-5) walked Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts to load the bases for Mitch Moreland, who sidestepped a bouncing pitch from Brach that enabled Bradley to score without a throw (see full recap).

MLB season home run record set in Blue Jays' win over Royals
TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman pitched seven innings to win for the first time in six starts, Darwin Barney hit a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Kansas City outfielder Alex Gordon's solo home run off Ryan Tepera in the eighth was the 5,694th of this major league season, breaking the record set in 2000 at the height of the Steroids Era. The record was broken with just less than two weeks remaining in the regular season.

There were 5,610 homers last year, an average of 2.31 per game, and this year's average of 2.53 entering Tuesday projects to 6,139. That would be up 47 percent from 4,186 in 2014.

Barney went 2 for 3 with three RBIs as the Blue Jays opened their final homestand on a winning note.

Stroman (12-8) allowed one run and four hits for his first victory since Aug. 16 against Tampa Bay (see full recap).