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Hoskins plays hero again, as Phils win in 15

@ToddZolecki
July 24, 2019

DETROIT -- Phillies left fielder Brad Miller figured the Tigers would try to score Nicholas Castellanos from second base in the bottom of the 14th inning early Wednesday morning at Comerica Park. Somebody needed to end this game. Maybe Castellanos could do it. “Shoot, it’s midnight or whatever,” Miller said

DETROIT -- Phillies left fielder Brad Miller figured the Tigers would try to score Nicholas Castellanos from second base in the bottom of the 14th inning early Wednesday morning at Comerica Park.

Somebody needed to end this game. Maybe Castellanos could do it.

“Shoot, it’s midnight or whatever,” Miller said following a 3-2 victory in 15 innings over Detroit. “You’ve got to send him.”

Box score

But Miller, who entered the game in the 12th inning, threw out Castellanos at the plate following Tigers pinch-hitter Brandon Dixon’s single to left with one out. J.T. Realmuto made a great tag, saving the game and setting up the Phillies’ winning run. Scott Kingery hit a leadoff triple off the right-field wall in the 15th and Rhys Hoskins singled to right field to score him. It was Hoskins’ second game-winning hit in extra innings in as many games as the Phillies have won four of their last five games to improve to 53-48.

“You want to win every game,” Hoskins said. “But the way that was going ...”

Yeah, the Phillies did not want to lose that one. The game started 38 minutes late because of rain. It ended at 12:18 a.m. ET.

“We just had so many people step up,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said.

Phillies ace Aaron Nola allowed two runs (one earned) in seven innings for another solid start. Roman Quinn’s two-run home run against Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd in the second inning handed the Phillies a 2-1 lead.

Boyd allowed two runs in six innings, while striking out eight and walking two. A lot of people were watching Boyd closely because he could be traded before the July 31 Trade Deadline. The Phillies have some interest, but general manager Matt Klentak said before the game the team is less likely to make a headline-grabbing trade because they are so far behind the Braves in the National League East.

Of course, Boyd remains under team control through the 2022 season, so the Phillies could view him differently than a two-month rental.

“He’s left-handed, he doesn’t walk guys, he's around the zone with his stuff -- it obviously plays up,” Hoskins said, when asked if he understood why Boyd is a hot commodity.

How would he look in red pinstripes?

“I think he’d look great,” Hoskins said.

But Klentak said the best thing for the Phillies right now is for their core to play better. Their bullpen certainly pitched better Tuesday. Nick Pivetta struck out five in 3 2/3 innings. Jose Alvarez pitched two scoreless frames to earn the win.

“How could you not highlight Nick Pivetta’s performance?” Kapler said. “That was really gutsy. I think just across the board that’s kind of the way I would describe us tonight. Resilient. We kept fighting. We never let up and there were some moments where we could have.”

Still, the Phillies struck out 18 times, two shy of their franchise record. They have scored just six runs in their past three games, winning two of them.

“No disputing we weren’t able to put together the kind of offense that we know we’re capable of,” Kapler said. “Today, and dating back a little bit. Acknowledging that, for sure.”

But then Kingery stepped up. He was 0-for-6 with four strikeouts until he ripped that triple in the 15th.

“You’ve got to want it,” Hoskins said. “You’ve got to want the next at-bat. Jay Bruce has said a couple times to me, 'You’ve got to take every at-bat in a vacuum. Props to Scotty. That’s a frustrating day for the first 14 innings, but you’ve just got to keep going, keep swinging, keep taking your at-bats like you always would.”

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .