Phillies use team effort to down Diamondbacks

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Phillies use team effort to down Diamondbacks

BOX SCORE

On the final night of being the only game in town for a good long while, the Phillies got a solid start from Kyle Kendrick, clutch relief work from Justin De Fratus and a whole bunch of offense from a whole bunch of guys.

The result was a 9-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park Friday night (see Instant Replay).

On Saturday, the Eagles open training camp across the street and that’s where the region’s sporting attention will turn, save for a few glances at the Ryan Howard soap opera and what will happen at next week’s trade deadline.

Speaking of Howard, it looks like his three-game benching will come to an end Saturday night against Arizona right-hander Josh Collmenter.

“We have a right-handed pitcher throwing,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “I’ll make the lineup up. We’ll go forward. But I want him -- with a little bit of rest and some tweaking of his mechanics like he’s done the last couple of days -- to have a big game for us.”

Several Phillies hitters had big games Friday night.

Jimmy Rollins went 0 for 5, but still had a big (money) night. His second plate appearance of the game was his 1,100th since the start of 2013 and that guaranteed his 2015 contract for $11 million.

Darin Ruf, getting his third straight look at first base in place of the struggling/platooning Howard, had a double, a sacrifice fly, a walk and scored a run.

Domonic Brown swung the bat well. He drove in three runs with a groundout and a two-run homer in the seventh. The longball into the right-field seats made it a four-run game after the Diamondbacks had pulled to within two runs in the sixth inning.

Grady Sizemore batted leadoff for the Phillies and played center field. He had a single, two doubles, scored two runs and stole third base.

Sizemore is making the most of his tryout in Philadelphia -- and that’s exactly what it is as team decision makers try to determine if he can be a fit on this team next year after missing the previous two seasons with a myriad of injuries. In 11 games with the Phils, Sizemore is 14 for 41 (.341) with four doubles.

“Everybody here has been very welcoming,” Sizemore said. “The more I play, the stronger I get. I just want to be in the lineup.”

Sizemore’s first-inning single was the 1,000th hit of his career and the Philadelphia fans gave him a nice ovation when it was announced on the video board.

“It’s exciting,” Sizemore said. “Hopefully there’s a lot more.”

Kendrick opened the game with five shutout innings, but allowed a double, a walk and a two-out single in the sixth. All three of those runners scored when reliever Antonio Bastardo gave up a grand slam to pinch-hitter Alfredo Marte.

Bastardo continued to struggle in the seventh when he allowed a pair of singles to open the inning. The left-hander’s tough outing (he retired just one of the four batters he faced) came with scouts from Toronto and Detroit behind the backstop. Both teams are looking for relief help and have been gathering intelligence on Bastardo.

Bastardo left with two men on base and the Phillies up by two runs. In came De Fratus. He struck out Aaron Hill for the first out then walked dangerous Paul Goldschmidt (.312/18/66) in a long, 12-pitch showdown to load the bases before striking out Miguel Montero and Mark Trumbo to end the threat.

“I wasn’t going to let Paul Goldschmidt beat us -- or beat me -- tonight,” De Fratus said.

De Fratus struck out Trumbo on the eighth pitch, a 93 mph fastball. He left the mound pumping his fist.

“That was a game-saving moment right there,” Sandberg said. “He had three strikeouts in the inning, but the big one was with the bases loaded. He showed the emotion and it was right for the moment. It was a big out.”

De Fratus earned the right to be fired up.

“Giving the team a chance to win and keeping the lead,” he said. “That’s really what I was excited about.”

The Phillies had 12 hits in the game and were 6 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

“A good win all the way around,” Sandberg said.

Best of MLB: Sale loses in White Sox return, Chapman saves Cubs' 3-1 win

Best of MLB: Sale loses in White Sox return, Chapman saves Cubs' 3-1 win

CHICAGO -- Chris Sale returned from his jersey-trashing suspension and threw six effective innings, but John Lackey outpitched him and Aroldis Chapman got the final four outs to save the Cubs' 3-1 victory over the White Sox in Chicago's rivalry series Thursday night.

Sale (14-4) was greeted with smiles and hugs from his teammates following a five-day ban for tearing up 1976-style uniforms he didn't want to wear before his previous scheduled start. He had command issues, but worked out of trouble while allowing two runs and six hits.

Lackey (8-7) allowed one run in six innings for his first win since June 8. Chapman, in his second appearance since being acquired from the Yankees, struck out two and consistently hit 102 mph in his first save for his new team.

Kris Bryant, who homered against Sale in the All-Star Game, hit an RBI double off the center field wall in the first inning (see full recap). 

Diaz's homer helps Cardinals beat Marlins and Fernandez, 5-4
MIAMI -- Aledmys Diaz homered, doubled and drove in three runs against childhood pal Jose Fernandez, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins 5-4 Thursday.

Fernandez gave up five runs in five innings and fell to 26-2 at Marlins Park.

Miami's Dee Gordon, the 2015 NL batting and stolen bases champion, returned from an 80-game suspension for failing a drug test and went 0 for 4. Ichiro Suzuki doubled as a pinch hitter in the seventh for Miami and needs two hits for 3,000.

Diaz and Matt Holliday homered in the third inning against Fernandez (12-5), who had never previously given up more than one homer in a home game. His only other loss at Marlins Park came on opening day this year against Detroit.

Michael Wacha (6-7) allowed three runs in six innings, and three relievers completed an eight-hitter. Seung Hwan Oh pitched around a one-out single in the ninth for his seventh save (see full recap). 

Familia falters again, Rockies rally for 2-1 win over Mets
NEW YORK -- Mets steady closer Jeurys Familia stumbled for a second straight game, allowing two runs in the ninth inning as the Colorado Rockies beat New York 2-1 Thursday for their seventh win in eight games.

Less than 24 hours after Familia's streak of 52 consecutive regular-season saves was snapped, the right-hander entered in the top of the ninth with a 1-0 lead, and couldn't hold it.

Trevor Story had a leadoff single and stole second. After fellow rookie David Dahl walked, Daniel Descalso bunted up the first base line. Mets catcher Rene Rivera watched as the ball spun toward foul territory but it stopped fair, loading the bases with no out.

With one out, Familia (2-3) got pinch-hitter Cristhian Adames to hit a slow grounder to the right side. First baseman James Loney booted the ball and Story scored to make it 1-all. Familia then threw a wild pitch, allowing Dahl to cross the plate with the go-ahead run (see full recap).

Instant Replay: Phillies 7, Braves 5

Instant Replay: Phillies 7, Braves 5

BOX SCORE

ATLANTA — Aaron Nola picked up his first win since June 5 as the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves, 7-5, at Turner Field on Thursday night.

Nola was supported by some strong offense. After scoring just one run in losing the previous two games in Miami, the Phils erupted for five runs in the first inning. They hit three homers in the game.

The Phillies had been winless in Nola’s previous seven starts.

The Phillies are 47-57.

The Braves have the worst record in the majors at 35-67.

Starting pitching report
Despite leaving with a 7-3 lead after five innings, Nola was not particularly sharp. He gave up eight hits (one was a fly ball that was lost in the twilight sky), walked three and hit a batter. He needed 95 pitches to get through the five innings.

Nola is 6-9 with a 4.78 ERA in 20 starts.

Atlanta’s Matt Wisler gave up seven hits and seven runs in five innings. Five of the runs came in the first inning when the Phillies batted around. Wisler allowed two homers, two singles and walked two in the inning.

Bullpen report
David Hernandez was the first Phillies reliever out of the bullpen. He struggled. But Edubray Ramos, Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez combined to close it out.

Gomez allowed two hits, a walk and a run in the ninth, but earned his 27th save.

At the plate
Aaron Altherr, activated off the disabled list earlier in the day (see story), had a big night in his first game of the season with the big club. He hit the ball hard all night and had three hits, including a two-run homer in the fifth.

Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph hit back-to-back homers in the first inning. Franco’s was a three-run shot. He leads the club with 19 homers. Joseph has 14 homers in 57 games.

Adonis Garcia had two hits and two RBIs for the Braves.

Transaction 
Peter Bourjos was placed on the disabled list and Altherr was activated (see story).

Up next
The series continues Friday night. Vince Velasquez (8-2, 3.34) pitches against Atlanta right-hander Tyrell Jenkins (0-2, 6.17).

As Aaron Altherr's audition begins, Pete Mackanin says Cody Asche 'needs to step it up'

As Aaron Altherr's audition begins, Pete Mackanin says Cody Asche 'needs to step it up'

ATLANTA — Nearly four months late, Aaron Altherr is finally getting his shot to show the Phillies he deserves to be part of their future outfield plans.

Altherr, 25, was activated from the disabled list before Thursday night’s game against the Braves and was in the lineup, batting fifth (see story). Altherr will see a lot of playing time over the final two-plus months of the season. He’s essentially auditioning.

“We want to see him play as much as possible,” manager Pete Mackanin said before the game. “So if he stays healthy, I’m going to keep running him out there. That’s what this year is all about. We’re finding out about the guys that are here. He is a potentially important part so we want to see what he does. I’m anxious to see what he does.”

Altherr, a ninth-round draft pick in 2009, played in 39 games for the Phillies last season. He hit just .241, but 20 of his 33 hits were for extra bases and he had a .827 OPS. He was slated to be the team’s everyday rightfielder before suffering a wrist injury that required surgery early in spring training.

Altherr is healthy now and eager for his chance.

“I’m good to go mentally and physically,” he said Thursday afternoon. “I’m definitely excited to be back up.”

Altherr took Peter Bourjos' spot on the roster. Bourjos was placed on the disabled list with a sprained right shoulder two days after running into the outfield wall in Miami.

With Mackanin committed to giving Altherr playing time, it will be interesting to see how the skipper divides up playing time with the remaining outfielders, especially when Bourjos recovers. Bourjos was a trade candidate before his injury. He could still be moved in a waiver deal once he’s healthy in August. Tyler Goeddel, Cody Asche and Jimmy Paredes also play corner outfield spots and much heralded prospect Nick Williams is expected to be here at some point (see Future Phillies Report).

Asche is walking a tightrope. He entered Thursday night’s game mired in a 4-for-51 skid and Mackanin seems to be losing patience.

“As I said earlier in the season, this is a very big year for Cody to prove that he can be part of the future and he needs to step it up,” Mackanin said.