June 5, 2023

Phillies make huge comeback over Pirates to pull to 2 games back in NL East


AP Photo/Matt Solocum

Aaron Nola and the Phillies put themselves in a huge hole, but they came back from a six-run deficit to beat the Pirates, 12-6. 

This ironically comes exactly a week after coming back from a seven-run deficit to the Chicago Cubs.

It was a very important win. The Atlanta Braves lost earlier in Arizona so the Phillies (79-74) made up a game and moved to two back with nine to play.

Ronald Torreyes had the go-ahead magic, which was a pinch-hit three-run home run in the sixth inning. It was the first pinch-hit homer of his career. He was batting for Nola, who allowed five runs in the second and one in the third before retiring the final 12 hitters he faced in rapid fashion. 

Down 6-0 in the bottom of the third, Didi Gregorius crushed a solo home run to begin a five-run rally. Odubel Herrera and Andrew McCutchen doubled in the inning and Brad Miller singled in a run.

This was a big night for Gregorius and Herrera, who are two left-handed bats the Phillies need over the next 10 days if they’re going to make the playoffs. Those two went a combined 5-for-40 in the series against the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles. 

McCutchen also made up for a miscue in the field. With the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning of a scoreless game, Pirates pitcher Connor Overton blooped a ball to shallow left field. McCutchen appeared to misread it, or was just slow getting to it. Third baseman Freddy Galvis also made an effort but the play was the left fielder’s. It fell in, the Pirates took a two-run lead and the next batter, Ke’Bryan Hayes, hit a three-run homer. Better defense and none of those five runs score. McCutchen reached base twice and scored twice, coming around on J.T. Realmuto’s two-run homer in the seventh. Realmuto did not start but entered in the sixth inning for Miller at first base and went 3-for-3 with four RBIs.

The Phillies have three more with the 57-95 Pirates this weekend. The Braves have four with the San Diego Padres over the next three days.

The Phils can’t afford to lose any more ground before their make-or-break series begins in Atlanta on Tuesday.

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