PHILADELPHIA -- It didn’t take long.
Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto smashed an opposite-field, two-run walk-off home run in the 10th inning Sunday afternoon to beat the Marlins, 4-2, at Citizens Bank Park. It completed a game suspended in the top of the 10th late Saturday night because of rain. From José Alvarado’s first pitch to resume play in the top of the 10th to Realmuto’s blast, it took 14 minutes for the Phillies to win.
It moved them within two games of the Mets for first place in the National League East.
“I knew it had won the game,” Realmuto told the Phillies broadcasters on NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I knew it was at least a sac fly. So that’s when the fist pump came out immediately. I got enough on it to get out, so that’s nice.”
Realmuto hit an 0-2 fastball from Yimi García well up and out of the zone. It was Realmuto’s fourth career walk-off hit, but his first walk-off hit with the Phillies. Because the Phillies had to play a second game almost immediately afterward, Realmuto avoided the typical postgame celebrations.
“It's really actually nice not to get soaked after the game,” he said after a 7-4 victory in the series finale. “I was thinking about it during the [postgame] interview that there’s no way they’re actually going to do that because they know we have to play another game. I’m glad they didn’t.”
The Phillies could have won without Realmuto’s heroics on Sunday. They carried a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning on Saturday, but Ranger Suárez blew his first save as Phillies’ closer. He allowed a leadoff single to Starling Marte and a two-run home run to Jesús Aguilar in the ninth to tie the game at 2.
It was the Phillies’ 23rd blown save of the season. They blew a franchise-record 25 in 2004.
Suárez, who assumed his new role as closer on July 3, converted each of his first three save opportunities.
Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez pitched five scoreless innings on Saturday. He is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three starts this season against the Marlins, striking out 16 and walking five in 18 innings. The Elias Sports Bureau said it is the longest single-season scoreless streak by a Phillies pitcher against Miami. Only Ryan Madson had a longer overall scoreless streak against the Marlins at 18 1/3 innings from 2007-09.
Velasquez is 1-4 with a 6.52 ERA (43 earned runs in 59 1/3 innings) this season against everybody else.
Héctor Neris pitched two scoreless innings in relief. Archie Bradley pitched one scoreless.
Alvarado started the 10th on Saturday with automatic runner Sandy León on second base. He was 1-1 to Jon Berti when rain dumped onto the field. On Sunday, Alvarado picked up from that spot to retire the only three batters he faced and give the Phillies a chance to win on a walk-off.
“He’s a blast,” Realmuto said about Alvarado. “When he’s filling up the strike zone … he’s virtually unhittable.”