Torreyes' pinch HR has Phils dancing, gaining

Philly now 2 behind Atlanta after another huge rally makes history

September 24th, 2021

PHILADELPHIA -- comes up to bat to “La Bamba” by Los Lobos.

It’s a fitting choice. After the utility infielder’s heroics Thursday night, the home crowd had little reason to stop dancing.

Torreyes drilled a three-run home run to left field with two outs in the sixth to give his team the lead for good as the Phillies rallied for a 12-6 victory over the visiting Pirates at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies became the first team in the modern era to win by six or more runs after trailing by six or more runs twice in the same season.

“He’s come up with big hits for us all year long,” said Phillies manager Joe Girardi. “And that’s the biggest one so far.”

It was the first pinch-hit home run of his career, and it kept the Phillies very much in the playoff race.

Atlanta (80-71) collapsed in the seventh inning and fell to Arizona, 6-4. The Phillies (79-74) trail the Braves by two games in the National League East with nine to play. The Phils travel to Atlanta on Tuesday after completing their four-game set with the Pirates.

Philadelphia's most likely route to the playoffs remains the division. St. Louis (83-69) won its 12th straight game, 8-5, over Milwaukee. The Phillies trail the Cardinals by 4 1/2 games for the second Wild Card.

Barely an hour after Atlanta lost to the worst team in the National League, it seemed like the Phillies would do the same against the NL’s second-worst team. The Pirates jumped out to an early 6-0 lead.

A home run by and RBI hits by and helped make it 6-5 by the end of the third. Torreyes’ shot completed the rally, making it 8-6 in the sixth.

After hitting his home run, Torreyes was greeted in the dugout by and Gregorius, and the trio broke into their own dance. Torreyes said they’ve been doing it for the last few weeks.

“That dance came out of nowhere,” Torreyes said. “It’s very authentic. We usually do it when we flip the score in our favor or we’re winning the game and we hit another homer. That started out of nowhere, but obviously we all enjoy it and like it. It shows that we have good chemistry and we’re trying our best.”

, who also entered as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, added a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh and a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth.

Girardi said before the game that he wanted to give Realmuto his final day off of the season. He ended up 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs.

“I was trying to rest him tonight,” Girardi said. “And I did. I rested him for five innings.”

It was the Phillies’ second improbable rally in eight days. Last Thursday, they erased an early 7-0 deficit and defeated the Cubs, 17-8.

The rally made it easier to forget another disappointing performance by . The Phillies’ expected ace allowed six runs on six hits over six innings. Five of those runs came with two outs in the second inning as the Pirates jumped out to an early 5-0 lead behind a two-run single from starting pitcher Connor Overton -- in his first Major League plate appearance -- and a three-run home run by Ke’Bryan Hayes, the son of former Phillie Charlie Hayes.

“They hit one ball hard, and that was the home run by Hayes,” Girardi said. “He probably deserved much better when you’re talking about the contact. But that’s what happens in baseball.”

Nola heard some boos when he stepped up to bat in the bottom of the third inning, but he drew a walk and scored a run. He settled down and did not allow another Pirate to reach base, finishing with eight strikeouts.

The Phillies ultimately pinch-hit for Nola in the bottom of the sixth -- with Torreyes.