PHILADELPHIA -- The magic number for a fifth consecutive National League West title fell to two for the Dodgers on Tuesday night, despite Rhys Hoskins' three-run double and four RBIs that rallied the Phillies to a 6-2 win at Citizens Bank Park. The second-place D-backs dropped a 6-2 decision to
PHILADELPHIA -- The magic number for a fifth consecutive National League West title fell to two for the Dodgers on Tuesday night, despite Rhys Hoskins' three-run double and four RBIs that rallied the Phillies to a 6-2 win at Citizens Bank Park. The second-place D-backs dropped a 6-2 decision to the Padres.
"This is frustrating," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, whose club has lost 19 of 24, and has seen its division lead slashed from 21 games to 9 1/2. "That team over there with a good pitcher in [Phillies starter Aaron Nola], they've got speedy guys, put the bat on the ball, they play hard. Teams that have nothing to play for but are trying to establish themselves, those are dangerous teams."
Still, the Dodgers can clinch the division with a win and a D-backs loss on Wednesday.
"It was nice to beat the Dodgers with [Clayton Kershaw, 4-3 in Monday's series opener] and [Yu Darvish] pitching," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "It's a great way to start the series. The guys have come alive."
Hoskins cleared the bases with two out on the 36th pitch of the seventh inning from beleaguered Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez (3-6). The Dodgers had a two-run lead on Yasmani Grandal's home run in the third inning and Curtis Granderson's RBI double off winning pitcher Nola (12-10) in the fourth, but the Phillies tied it on an unearned run off Darvish in the sixth and a bases-loaded walk by Odubel Herrera that preceded Hoskins' double. Aaron Altherr homered in the eighth off Brock Stewart.
Darvish allowed one unearned run in 5 1/3 innings, and he delivered back-to-back solid starts for the first time since being acquired in a trade with the Rangers to be the No. 2 starter in the postseason. He had seven strikeouts, reaching 200 in a season for the third time in the Major Leagues.
"I think I'm in a pretty good place," Darvish said. "I think I'm where I need to be at this time of the season."
Grandal's home run was his 20th, giving the Dodgers six players with at least that many in a season for the first time. A win by the Nationals over the Braves left the Dodgers' magic number for clinching home-field advantage in the first two rounds of the postseason at eight.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
One short at-bat: A late walk for the Phillies led to a game-changing extra-base hit for the second night in a row. Herrera drew a quick four-pitch walk off an erratic Baez with the bases loaded to tie the score at 2 after the Phils nearly squandered a bases-loaded, none out opportunity. On Monday, Hoskins' walk off Kershaw loaded the bases for grand-slam hero Altherr.
One long at-bat: Hoskins stepped to the plate after Herrera and saw 10 consecutive fastballs from Baez, fouling off four straight with two strikes -- a few were up and out of the zone -- before lacing the bases-clearing double to left. Just like that, a good start from Darvish was wiped away and the Dodgers' inability to bridge the gap to Kenley Jansen proved to be costly again. More >
"I probably swung at ball four," Hoskins said. "I guess hindsight is 20-20. It's a good thing I swung at it."
"If we were in a different situation in the standings, I think I might have acted differently." -- Roberts, on leaving Baez in to make 36 pitches and allow four runs
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The 1-2 punch of Darvish and Kershaw have made starts within one or two days of each other four times. In those contests, the Dodgers are 3-5.
Dodgers: Left-hander Alex Wood, who is coming off six scoreless innings against the Nationals, will get the start against the Phillies on Wednesday at 4:05 p.m. PT. Wood is seeking his 16th win, and he's allowed fewer hits and home runs per nine innings than teammate Clayton Kershaw.
Phillies: Right-hander Jake Thompson (2-2, 4.46 ERA) pitches the third game of the four-game set against the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night at 7:05 ET. Thompson pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings in his last start against the Marlins, and he has a 3.73 ERA in six starts this season.
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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.
Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Phillies on Tuesday.