The Philadelphia Phillies opened a big month of June with a rare offensive outburst and a much-needed victory on Tuesday night.
The Phils scored a season-high seven home runs, including three in the sixth inning to break open a one-run game, and rolled past the Cincinnati Reds, 17-3.
The 17 runs were a season-high for the Phils, who had scored just 13 runs in the previous six games.
The Phillies’ offensive explosion included a season-high 18 hits.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Phillies and was just their fourth in the last 14 games as they ran their record to 26-29. They are just 3-5 on the road trip but can close it out with a series victory with a win over the Reds on Wednesday afternoon.
Here’s three takeaways:
3 home run 6th
On May 22, Rhys Hoskins hit his 100th career homer. He stroked his 100th career double in the fifth inning Tuesday night to drive in a run.
Hoskins was also one of three Phillies to homer in the sixth inning. He and Odubel Herrera both smacked two-run shots in the inning. Andrew McCutchen opened the inning with an important solo homer to extend a one-run lead.
Two innings later, McCutchen made it a two-homer night with a three-run shot in the eighth.
A full offensive recap
Cincinnati used two position players on the mound to close out the game. Matt Joyce hit the Phillies’ seventh homer of the night, a grand slam, in the ninth against infielder Alex Blandino.
In the third inning, the Phillies got solo homers from Ronald Torreyes and Herrera in tying the game at 2-2.
Struggling third baseman Alec Bohm had three of the Phillies’ hits, including an RBI single in the fourth. He entered the game hitting .203 with just one hit in 19 at-bats on the trip.
Maybe this was the game that will get Bohm right.
Maybe it was the game that will get the Phillies right. They went 12-16 in the month of May and lost six games in the NL East standings, going from first place and a game up on May 7 to five back entering Tuesday. The Phils play 14 games against NL East opponents and have a difficult six-game West Coast trip in June.
Phillies starter Aaron Nola, who was denied a victory by poor run support and even worse defense in a start in Miami earlier this road trip, was backed by plenty of both in earning his first win since May 4. The Phillies had been 0-4 in his previous four starts.
Nola was not particularly sharp, but he managed to grind his way into the sixth inning before handing off to the bullpen. He was personally backed by three double plays and the Phillies’ often-sloppy defense turned four in all.
Nola scattered eight hits and three runs. He walked two and struck out two. His second strikeout of the game was a big one on two levels. The strikeout came against Jesse Winker with a man on second base and it ended the fifth inning, preserving a one-run lead. Winker had entered the game ranked second in the majors with a .348 batting average.
The strikeout was also the 1,000th of Nola’s career and it came in his 913th inning of work. No Phillie has ever reached 1,000 strikeouts faster. Cole Hamels had previously been the fastest Phillie to 1,000. He did it in 1,046 2/3 innings.
Nola, who will turn 28 on Friday, is just the third Phillies pitcher to reach 1,000 strikeouts before turning 28, joining Hamels and Steve Carlton.
Rookie Spencer Howard gets the ball in the series finale Wednesday afternoon.
Hopefully the Phils saved some runs for him.