Hoskins comes up big again, delivers key hit

First baseman clears the bases with three-run double to break tie in 10-pitch at-bat

September 19th, 2017

PHILADELPHIA -- got to see 's fastball 10 times in the seventh inning on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Hoskins grew more comfortable and more confident with each one, until he finally ripped a two-out double into left-center field to score three runs in a 6-2 victory over the Dodgers. Hoskins went 2-for-3 with the double, a walk and four RBIs. He saw 30 pitches over four plate appearances.

"I always think he's going to do something special the deeper he goes into the count," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

Hoskins' plate appearance against Baez in the seventh seemed to be one of his most satisfying of the season because it not only came in a big spot, but against a team trying to wrap up its fifth consecutive National League West championship.

"The experience for some of us young guys is pretty invaluable," Hoskins said.

Baez had struggled the entire inning. started with his first Major League triple. Baez then hit on the hand with a pitch to put runners at the corners. He walked to load the bases with one out and walked with two outs to score the tying run.

Baez's first pitch to Hoskins came high and inside, a 97-mph fastball that bent Hoskins backward. But the first baseman quickly got ahead, 3-1, when he took a called strike to run the count to 3-2. Hoskins fouled off the sixth pitch, the only pitch he chased well outside the strike zone.

"I probably swung at ball four, but I guess hindsight is 20-20," Hoskins said. "It's a good thing I swung at it."

"He was fouling balls off at his neck," Phillies right-hander said. "So you get a ball a little bit lower, you knew he was going to time it up finally."

Hoskins fouled off the next three pitches, each of them either too close to take or in the zone. Asked if he was surprised Baez never threw an offspeed pitch -- he throws a slider or changeup a little more than 25 percent of the time -- Hoskins said, "If he makes a pitch with one of his offspeed pitches there, well, that's baseball, you've got to kind of tip your cap to him if he can make a good pitch. That's kind of the approach I had."

Baez's 10th pitch of the at-bat was a 97-mph fastball down and away, only the second pitch of the at-bat that was clearly in the strike zone. 

Hoskins, who singled to score a run in the sixth, has 43 RBIs in his first 39 career games. Only had more RBIs (44) in the first 39 big league games. Just behind Hoskins in third place? Joe DiMaggio, who had 42 RBIs in 1936.

"He made some good pitches too with good strikes, not really anything in the middle of the plate," Hoskins said. "I was just lucky enough to put a good swing on the last one."

Hoskins clapped his hands and pointed into the dugout after he reached second base. He was pumped.

"Big situation against a pretty good team," he said. "I think the 10-pitch at-bat probably had something to do with it."