Hoskins heating up, burns Giants for 6 RBIs

June 20th, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO -- Maybe is getting ready to carry the Phillies again.

Hoskins and Ronald Torreyes saved the Phillies with huge hits in Saturday afternoon’s 13-6 victory over the Giants at Oracle Park. But Hoskins, who snapped a 0-for-33 skid on Wednesday in Los Angeles, crushed a two-run home run in the second, doubled to score a run in the sixth and smashed a three-run homer in the seventh. Hoskins, who grew up in Sacramento, Calif., finished the afternoon in front of family and friends with a career-high six RBIs.

“When Rhys gets hot, he can get hot,” Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola said. “It’s cool to see, man. It’s just cool to see because he works so hard at it. When he’s not hot, you know it’s going to turn around and he’s going to break loose.”

Hoskins snapped his hitless streak with a homer in the first inning on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. It felt good to snap a slump like that, but he left Los Angeles feeling especially good after he lined out hard to right field against David Price in the ninth.

“I was able to stay on a changeup,” Hoskins said. “I know we’ve talked about it, but it’s usually a pretty good sign that the swing is in the right position, if I can stay back on a changeup and drive it to right field. I was kind of able to do that again yesterday to reinforce that feeling. I was able to put some good swings on some balls today and barrel some balls up.”

Hoskins crushed a two-run homer to left field in the second inning to put the Phillies up, 3-2. The ball landed deep in the left field stands, a Statcast-projected 435 feet from home plate. It tied the second-longest homer of his career.

Hoskins hit 439-foot and 435-foot homers at Coors Field in April.

So, make this Hoskins’ longest non-Coors homer.

It also was his team-high 14th plate appearance this season to hand the Phillies the lead. Bryce Harper is second with eight.

Hoskins does things like that when his swing is right. He batted .343 with five doubles, four home runs, 15 RBIs and a 1.035 OPS in 19 games before his hitless skid. Entering Saturday, Hoskins sat ninth in baseball in home runs (104), 18th in RBIs (291) and 49th in OPS (.845) since his big-league debut on Aug. 10, 2017.

“He’s had a real knack for it,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s been really important for our club. We’ve been without a bunch of our guys who we expected to be run-producers, and Rhys was carrying a lot of the load in those situations.”

Giants manager Gabe Kapler knows what Hoskins can do, too. He sang his praises for two seasons as Phillies manager from 2018-19.

“Obviously, Rhys Hoskins is confident,” Kapler said. “When he’s confident, you kind of have to get in the zone quickly with him. You know there’s going to be some hard contact, but you don’t want to stretch out at-bats to guys like him and [Andrew] McCutchen right now because they’re going to be pretty good about making you come on the plate.”

Torreyes, who is playing regularly at shortstop while Didi Gregorius is sidelined, doubled to score two runs in the third and homered to score the go-ahead run in the sixth. He and Hoskins bailed out Nola, who suffered the shortest start of his career. He allowed six runs in just 2 1/3 innings. He is 3-1 with a 2.49 ERA in seven starts at home this season. He is 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA in eight starts on the road.

“I got behind in counts and was pulling fastballs,” Nola said. “They put some good swings on pitches they should have.”

The Phillies are in position to win a three-game series against the Giants, who have the best record in baseball, and return home with a 3-3 road trip. It would be quite an accomplishment, considering the Phillies’ road woes the past few years. A victory Sunday would maintain their momentum following a 6-2 homestand against the Nationals, Braves and Yankees, too.

“I think a win would go a long way tomorrow,” Hoskins said.