PHILADELPHIA -- Down but not out, J.T. Realmuto brought Miami back against the Phillies' offensive outpouring, climbing out of a five-run hole to beat Philadelphia, 9-8, on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park to take the four-game series three games to one."I think it changes our trip," Marlins manager Don
PHILADELPHIA -- Down but not out, J.T. Realmuto brought Miami back against the Phillies' offensive outpouring, climbing out of a five-run hole to beat Philadelphia, 9-8, on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park to take the four-game series three games to one.
"I think it changes our trip," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of the difference between winning and splitting the series against the team with the worst record in baseball. "We sweep a doubleheader, got a little momentum and then just got beat up last night, and then if it happened again today, it kind of takes the wind out of your sails a little bit."
Giancarlo Stanton uncorked his hardest-hit homer of the year, 115.7 mph according to Statcast™, in the third, before a Derek Dietrich single put Miami ahead, 3-1. But the Phillies' burgeoning youth movement struck in their next two frames, pushing the Phillies' lead.
Twenty-six-year-old first baseman Tommy Joseph continued his hot week, bashing his third homer in four games in Philadelphia's five-run third inning. One inning after Rhys Hoskins' solo homer -- his eighth of the season, making him the third player with eight in his first 15 games, the 24-year-old tacked on a two-run single in the crooked inning. In the next frame, 24-year-old outfielder Nick Williams jumped on a fastball from Vance Worley, sending it into the gap in right to score another run and push the Phillies' lead to 8-3.
That trio knocked in all eight Phillies runs.
"We're getting close," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin, asked about being comfortable with the middle of his lineup. "It's a better feeling where I can fill in the top five spots and go from there. But pitching's the name of the game. We didn't see good pitching today."
Miami was not deterred. Three homers -- two traditional blasts by A.J. Ellis and and Christian Yelich, and an inside-the-parker from Realmuto -- knotted the score at 8 after the sixth, in time for Realmuto to lace a hard-hit sacrifice fly to Williams in center to bring home Yelich, the game's winning run in the eighth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Realmuto is real fast: Down two with a runner on, Realmuto -- normally Miami's catcher, but playing first base Thursday -- ripped a ball off the angled wall in deep left-center, just a few feet shy of leaving the yard. Williams jumped to make a play and right fielder Hyun Soo Kim never backed up in case of a potential ricochet, so the speedy Realmuto scooted all the way around the bases to tie the game at 8 with his second career inside-the-park homer.
"We were up there yelling at him all the way around the bases, letting him know," said Yelich, after the dugout saw Realmuto not hustling out of the box. "Really athletic. As a catcher, he can run a little bit. You see that ball hit the fencing up there and bounce off, you know he's got a chance for an inside-the-parker, and that helped us climb that mountain and get back to even. It was a big part of the game."
Outfield issues: The first inning for Jake Thompson lasted much longer than it should have. Williams -- not Philadelphia's primary center fielder, but playing there out of necessity with Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr on the DL -- mishandled a pair of popups in the game's first frame. Stanton skied a fly ball to center that Williams initially went back on, taking him out of the play. Two batters later, Marcell Ozuna launched a ball to the warning track. Williams had a read on it, but he arrived at the track trying to shield his eyes from the sun. He lost sight of it at the last second, and the ball one-hopped the wall for an RBI ground-rule double that scored Stanton to put Miami up, 1-0. He also allowed Yelich to go from first to third on a single to center in the eighth, setting up the game-winning run.
"It was never right on top of me like that," Williams said about the sun in the first inning. "That really aggravated me, especially with a run scoring. … I want to limit [Yelich taking the extra base] as much as possible. I was thinking about that. That's another thing that can get to you. It's just learning."
"I got excited, because I knew I was in line to get the win. I actually let out a yell of excitement." -- Marlins reliever Jarlin Garcia, on his reaction when the Marlins took the lead in the 8th to set him up for his first career win
"Altherr is not available. Odubel is not available. [Daniel] Nava's not available. Hoskins hasn't played much left field. Kim is predominantly a left fielder. So it kind of caught him by surprise. He should have backed it up." -- Mackanin, on Kim not backing up Williams on the inside-the-park home run, and the overall poor play in the outfield
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Phillies hit 11 home runs in a series for the first time in almost 10 years. They hit 11 against the Mets from Aug. 27-30, 2007. They also scored their most runs in a series (28) since they scored 28 in four games against the Reds from May 23-26, 2011. Elias Sports Bureau said the 21 homers both teams hit in the series were the most in any Phillies series in franchise history.
The Phillies optioned Thompson after the game. He allowed seven hits, five runs, four walks and struck out four in five innings. He is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in six appearances (three starts).
Marlins: Miami heads home for three games to face the Padres during Players Weekend after wrapping up their seven-game, eight-day National League East road trip. Lefty Adam Conley (6-5, 4.93 ERA) gets the start for the Marlins.
Phillies: The Phillies open a three-game series Friday night against the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (3-7, 4.46 ERA) faces Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana (4-2, 3.73 ERA) in the Players Weekend series opener.
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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia who covered the Marlins on Thursday.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.