PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Gabe Kapler seemed to be thinking what everybody else was thinking on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park: Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery are going to be on the field a lot together in the coming years.If what happened in the first few innings was any
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Gabe Kapler seemed to be thinking what everybody else was thinking on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park: Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery are going to be on the field a lot together in the coming years.
If what happened in the first few innings was any indication, it could be a lot of fun.
Each homered in Monday night's 6-5 victory over the Reds. Hoskins ripped a two-out, two-run home run to left-center field in the first inning to hand the Phillies a 2-1 lead. Kingery ripped a ball just above the flower boxes in left field for a solo home run in the second to make it 3-1. It was the first homer of Kingery's career.
"They're going to be in the lineup a lot together and it's going to be fun to see them bounce that energy back and forth," Kapler said. "Kind of fun to see how many times those two guys hit home runs in the same game this season."
Hoskins entered the night leading the Majors in batting average (.440) and on-base percentage (.559), as well as ranking second in slugging percentage (.760) and OPS (1.319). Only Nationals star Bryce Harper bested him in those categories. Hoskins has reached base safely in every game this season, and following the homer he had reached base in 20 of his first 35 plate appearances.
Kingery, who signed an unprecedented six-year, $24 million contract before the season, entered the night with three multi-hit games, tied for the most of any rookie in baseball.
Kingery somehow dropped the barrel of the bat onto a 1-0 fastball from Reds left-hander Cody Reed that was a little less than 15 inches off the ground.
"I didn't know how low it was until everybody told me that," Kingery said. "I'm just happy I got the barrel on it and it snuck out of here."
Kingery got the ball back, too. He only had to autograph a bat and ball for the fan in the stands that caught it.
It was a small price to pay.
So far, Kingery said his big league experience is living up to his expectations. Maybe it'll be even better down the road. That's his hope.
"Just the chance to play in a big league ballpark, I think that's the most special thing," he said. "To step on the field every day and look around because this is where I get to go to work every day. I don't think that'll ever change."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.