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Smyly hurt by one bad inning vs. White Sox

Phillies unable to erase five-run deficit after lefty allows grand slam
August 4, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- Drew Smyly had one hiccup inning on Sunday afternoon. However, one hiccup is all it takes these days to put the Phillies' struggling offense in a really bad spot. Smyly allowed five runs in the second inning -- capped off by a two-out grand slam to Leury García

PHILADELPHIA -- Drew Smyly had one hiccup inning on Sunday afternoon.

However, one hiccup is all it takes these days to put the Phillies' struggling offense in a really bad spot.

Smyly allowed five runs in the second inning -- capped off by a two-out grand slam to Leury García -- and the Chicago White Sox walked away with a 10-5 victory and a series win in Philadelphia before a crowd of 31,562 at Citizens Bank Park.

Box score

The 58-53 Phils remained in a tie with Washington for the National League’s second Wild Card and finished 4-5 on their nine-game homestand.

“This one stings because I feel like I was one or two pitches away from a much different outcome,” Smyly said.

Unfortunately for the Phillies, it has been one or two pitches that have put them behind the eight ball that they can’t seem to dig out of because of offensive struggles. Philadelphia left six men on base Sunday and 27 for the three-game set against the White Sox, hitting 5-for-26 with runners in scoring position.

“We’re not getting enough hits in big spot,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “We’re not making enough pitches. We’re not doing enough collectively to win baseball games the last three days. We’re a better team than this.”

Smyly went five innings, but he allowed all of the Chicago damage against him in the second. Jon Jay would single, then scored on a Ryan Goins single to right. After a walk to James McCann, a single by Yolmer Sanchez loaded the bases. Garcia stepped up and smacked a hanging curveball into the seats in deep left center for his seventh homer of the season and his first career grand slam for a 5-0 White Sox lead.

“I thought if I threw it down in the zone it wouldn’t be a damage pitch,” Smyly said. “It was a little bit up in the middle of the plate, and he put a great swing on it. You gotta tip your cap to him. I didn’t want to got 2-1. I wasn’t trying to bury it. He jumped on it and that was the difference.”

After that, Smyly settled in and threw three perfect innings before exiting after five innings.

“Other than [the second inning], he was really efficient,” Kapler said. “His fastball was good up in the zone. They ran his pitch count early with foul balls, but he was able to get efficient and give us five innings.”

The Phillies would chip away at the margin, scoring one run in the fifth inning on a Corey Dickerson single that brought Scott Kingery home and two in the sixth on RBI singles by Cesar Hernandez and Kingery to close within 5-3. However, a chance to do more damage in the inning ended with Sean Rodriguez hitting into a 6-4-3 double play with two on and one out.

In the end, that’s as close as the Phillies would get. Chicago would add a three-run homer from Eloy Jimenez in the eighth and a solo shot from Tim Anderson in the ninth to put the game on ice.

And as the Phillies headed for a huge seven-game West Coast trip that will take them to Arizona and San Francisco -- two teams still breathing down their neck in the Wild Card race -- there’s no time to wallow on another lost opportunity.

“Just keep playing Philly baseball,” Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper said. “Keep being the same team. Go out there and not really worry about what happened today. Of course, we lost the series and you never want to do that. But just go into Arizona and have to turn the page as quick as possible. Get past this weekend and go out there, play Arizona and beat them, hopefully. Then go to San Fran for a big four-gamer.”