The Philadelphia Phillies (38-29) successfully avoided their third straight loss — and 30th overall — by topping the Arizona Diamondbacks (35-33) to end their five-game winning streak Tuesday evening at Citizens Bank Park, 7-4. Right-hander Jake Arrieta improved to 6-5 on the season, while RHP Hector Neris recorded his 14th save in as many opportunities.
Entering Tuesday tied in the National League East standings with the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies win assured the club would not relinquish first place; the last time the Phillies trailed in the division this season was on April 25 (1/2 game).
One game removed from recording a combined single-game MLB-record 13 home runs, the Phillies and Diamondbacks hit just one each on Tuesday. The teams will face off in the series decider Wednesday evening.
Arrieta's scoreless first inning was much better than that of his fellow teammate Jerad Eickhoff's — who allowed back-to-back-to-back home runs in Monday's 13-8 series opener loss. On 19 pitches, Arrieta allowed just a single to center fielder Ketel Marte to left, while striking out cleanup hitter David Peralta swinging for the final out.
With two outs in the bottom of the first, Phillies shortstop Jean Segura legged out a double — his 11th first-inning extra-base hit (seventh double) this season. The club produced two more extra-base hits in the following inning; this time, however, producing runs. After catcher J.T. Realmuto and left fielder Jay Bruce both singled, center fielder Scott Kingery launched a three-run shot on a 3-1 count to left — his third home run in the last two games and seventh this season. Four batters later, right fielder Bryce Harper drilled a RBI double to right — his 21st — giving the Phillies an early 4-0 lead.
Through three scoreless innings, Arrieta was just three batters over the minimum (single, two walks), inducing three strikeouts and six swinging strikes in the process on 47 overall pitches. He was largely helped in the inning by Bruce's diving catch with two runners on and just one out.
The man does it all. 😱 pic.twitter.com/RzEhUrDrBa— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 12, 2019
The right-hander's next two innings did not end as smoothly, allowing a two-RBI double to catcher Carson Kelly in the fourth, and a sacrifice fly RBI to third baseman Eduardo Escobar in the fifth.
With a little help from a Diamondbacks fielding blunder, the Phillies extended their lead to 6-3 in the fifth. After Rhys Hoskins walked with one out, Realmuto hit his 12th double, and the Phillies first baseman successfully scored from first on a Peralta throwing error — his first of the season. On the very next play, Bruce produced his 13th RBI in a Phillies uniform with a single to left-center.
Hoskins extended his Phillies RBI lead in the sixth, coming through clutch with a two-out RBBI single to give the Phillies a 7-3 lead. Hoskins has at least one RBI in three straight games; he had no RBI over his prior eight games.
Phillies rookie reliever J.D. Hammer struggled in relief of Arrieta in the seventh, allowing a leadoff home run to Marte, his 17th, and a walk to Escobar to start the frame. Hammer would later allow another single, but prevented further damage, allowing the Phillies to take a three-run lead into the stretch. Juan Nicasio and Hector Neris threw a 1-2-3 eighth and ninth, respectively.
- With his first-inning double, Segura is now batting .379 with 11 singles, seven doubles, four home runs, 10 runs, five RBI, and six strikeouts in the opening frame this season.
- Kingery's second-inning, three-run home run marked a stretch of 24 plate appearances in which he slugged four home runs and 8 RBI while posting a 0.348 batting average.
- Kingery slugged two home runs and a triple in Monday's series opener, his first-career multi-home run game. With the effort, he became the first Phillies player with two-plus home runs and a triple in a game since Ryan Howard (June 18, 2010), and the first Phillies center fielder to accomplish the feat since Cy Williams (Sept. 12, 1924), Ryan Spaeder notes.
- Diamondbacks rookie starter and Newark, Delaware, native RHP Jon Duplantier lasted just three innings in his eighth career appearance (third start). Against 17 Phillies batters faced, he allowed seven hits, four runs, one walk, one home run and struck out just one batter.
- Arrieta was pulled after six innings, with the Phillies leading, 6-3. His final line: 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 SO, 105 pitches, 63 strikes.
- In the seventh, Bruce walked for the first time with the Phillies, while making his 30th plate appearance with his new club.
- Nick Williams has struck out 10 times over his last 13 plate appearances, including his pinch-hit appearance in the seventh on Tuesday.
- Phillies batters went a combined 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and struck out only five times (Harper, twice; Bruce; and third baseman Sean Rodriguez).
- Both RBI from Harper (46) and Hoskins (47) came with two outs.
- Every Phillies starting position player had a hit, with Hoskins, Realmuto and Bruce logging multiple base-knocks.
- Neris has recorded 17 straight saves without a blown save, dating back to last season.
- Arrieta recorded just his second win since the end of April.
- Wednesday, June 12, 2019: vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 7:05 p.m.
- Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pa.
- RHP Merrill Kelly (6-6, 4.12 ERA) vs. RHP Zach Eflin (6-5, 2.88 ERA)
- TV: NBCSP; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP