The Philadelphia Phillies (64-58) have reclaimed a postseason spot.
In addition to defeating the San Diego Padres (56-65), 8-4, in Friday evening's three-game series opener at Citizens Bank Park, the Chicago Cubs lost their fourth straight game — helping the Phillies advance into a tie with them for the second National League Wild Card spot, with 40 games to go.
The top three spots in the Phillies starting lineup order — Roman Quinn, Bryce Harper, and J.T. Realmuto — combined for six hits, three home runs (one each), six RBI and five runs scored in the win. Phillies RHP Vince Velasquez (W, 5-7) threw a solid 5 1/3 innings while making his 40th career start at Citizens Bank Park; while two outs shy of a quality start, the right-hander allowed only three runs on five hits, two walks and five strikeouts en route to a winning decision.
The Phillies are now 4-0 with Charlie Manuel as hitting coach.
Padres rookie RHP Chris Paddack (L, 7-6) made his 21st career start and his first at Citizens Bank Park. Like his first and only career outing against the Phillies in June, Paddack suffered a losing decision in Friday's series opener — allowing nine hits, five runs (four earned) and one walk over 4 2/3 innings.
While Quinn, Harper and Realmuto struck out swinging in order against Paddack in the first, the Phillies offense was anything but shut down in the second. Jean Segura and Logan Morrison laced back-to-back singles, and were able to both advance into scoring position. Cesar Hernandez delivered with a clutch RBI single to right for the game's first run.
Quinn and Realmuto made up for their first-inning strikeouts in their next plate appearances in the third, each producing solo home runs to give the Phillies a 3-0 advantage.
Realmuto would produce a RBI double two innings later, followed by Segura scoring on a Morrison double and Padres error later in the frame, giving the Phillies a 5-0 lead.
The Padres finally got to Velasquez in the sixth, combining for three runs on three hits to pull within two. Velasquez's final line: 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO.
Harper put the Phillies back on top by five the next half-inning; after Hernandez walked and Quinn was hit by a pitch, the Phillies slugger launched a three-run blast to left — his seventh home run over his last 33 at-bats — giving him 26 home runs and 90 RBIs this season.
A swing of beauty. pic.twitter.com/aEjRYXaUkC— MLB (@MLB) August 17, 2019
San Diego scored their fourth run in the eighth on a RBI groundout by Eric Hosmer. It would turn out to be the game's final run.
- Realmuto finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-5 with a double, run scored, home run, two RBI and two strikeouts. Harper, meanwhile, went 2-for-5 with two runs scored, a home run, three RBI and two strikeouts.
- The Phillies are averaging 7 1/2 runs per game in their four games since replacing hitting coaches.
- Quinn left the game as a precaution due to right groin tightness.
- The Phillies bullpen's combined line: 3 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO (Blake Parker, hold; Mike Morin; Jose Alvarez; and Hector Neris). Parker earned his first hold with the Phillies.
- Velasquez, career vs. Padres: 3-0, 4 G, 3 GS, 22 2/3 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 3 BB, 30 SO.
- Saturday, August 17, 2019: vs. San Diego Padres, 7:05 p.m.
- Sunday, August 18, 2019: vs. San Diego Padres, 1:05 p.m.