Rhys Hoskins, who returned from the injured list today, sparked a slumping lineup, hitting two of the Phillies’ four home runs in a 7-4 win in San Diego to end the West Coast trip.
Hoskins, who sustained a groin injury in late July and had not played since August 5, went deep in his second and third plate appearances. He’s missed 19 games this season but still has three more home runs (26) and 10 more RBIs (60) than any other Phillie this season. He was activated before the game as Alec Bohm was optioned to Triple-A.
The Phillies badly needed this win after blowing a two-run lead with two outs in the ninth inning of Saturday’s loss. They answered an embarrassing sweep in Arizona by winning two-of-three in San Diego against a talented Padres team that is slumping and fading fast. The Padres have lost nine-of-11 games and now trail the Cincinnati Reds by a game for the second wild-card spot.
“Feels great to be back,” Hoskins said. “Huge, huge series win, obviously pretty disappointing in Arizona, but that’s what we’ve done all year, bounce back. Same thing with last night, pretty gut-wrenching loss but guys bounce back. Gibby (Kyle Gibson) pitches his butt off and the offense did their thing.”
Hoskins was removed late in the game for Luke Williams. Manager Joe Girardi said after the game that the Phillies will protect Hoskins late in games because “sometimes it can be just one play that grabs him.”
The Phillies’ position in the standings did not change. The Atlanta Braves won their ninth straight, so the Phils remain five games out in the NL East and five behind the Reds in the wild-card race. The five-game deficit in the division is the Phillies’ second-largest of the season.
Kyle Gibson made another strong start. He has started four games with the Phils since coming over from Texas in a deadline deal and all four have been quality starts. His only bad outing so far came in relief in a rain-delayed game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gibson threw 103 pitches and allowed just a run over eight innings, picking up 13 outs on the ground and retiring the final 14 hitters he faced. In four starts as a Phillie, he has a 2.36 ERA.
“He’s been great,” Girardi said. “He’s thrown the ball extremely well. He’s a complete pitcher. He holds runners, he handles his position, he’s been handling the bat.”
The Phils entered the ninth inning with a six-run lead but had to sweat it out a bit with the tying run, Fernando Tatis Jr., in the on-deck circle to end the game.
The Phillies had two different three-run innings. In the fourth, Hoskins hit a solo homer and Odubel Herrera hit a two-out, two-run single. Herrera had another good day at the plate with four hits and a home run. He’s hit .368 in August with five homers and 11 RBI in 17 games.
J.T. Realmuto also connected on a high-and-away heater, homering to the opposite field. Realmuto, 5-for-37 over his last 11 games, had a multi-hit game.
The Phillies (63-61) are off Monday, then have two at home against the 77-48 Tampa Bay Rays and a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park against the 42-83 Arizona Diamondbacks. They need to take at least three of four from the D’Backs and will need help this week from the Braves, whose next eight games come against the 72-52 New York Yankees, 80-44 San Francisco Giants, and the 78-47 Los Angeles Dodgers.