PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Altherr launched the first grand slam Clayton Kershaw has allowed with two outs in the sixth inning Monday night as the Phillies stunned the Dodgers with a 4-3 comeback win at Citizens Bank Park.
The Dodgers' magic number to secure the National League West title fell to three with the D-backs losing in San Diego and sits at eight for home-field advantage in the NL (over Washington, which had the day off).
"That's obviously pretty special to be the first one to do that," Altherr said. "I definitely don't take it for granted. He's obviously a really good pitcher. I just thank God I was able to get a pitch to hit."
The first two Dodgers batters of the game homered, with Chris Taylor racing to an inside-the-park home run and Justin Turner following with a conventional homer off winning Phillies starter Nick Pivetta (6-10), who allowed only two more hits in six innings.
Kershaw (17-4) had allowed only two hits over the first five scoreless innings. But pinch-hitter Ty Kelly opened the sixth with a walk, one out later Freddy Galvis dropped a broken-bat bloop single, and with two outs, Rhys Hoskins walked to load the bases for Altherr, whose second career grand slam on a 1-1 slider traveled an estimated 418 feet with an exit velocity of 107.6 mph, per Statcast™.
"Tonight it's one pitch, and if he gets the out, we're talking about what a stellar outing he had," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Kershaw.
• Kershaw disappointed in himself after loss
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Battling from behind: Altherr makes the highlights with the unprecedented slam off Kershaw, but making it possible were two walks against a pitcher who rarely issues those, either. Both pinch-hitter Kelly leading off and Hoskins with two outs to load the bases fell behind in the count, 1-2, then worked their seven-pitch walks, refusing to chase Kershaw's two-strike sliders in the dirt.
"The third at-bat, you kind of have an idea of what they're trying to do to you," Hoskins said. "It was the first time I've seen him. You kind of know what the pitches look like, so I was definitely more comfortable stepping in there. I felt pretty good that he either had to come to me or face the guy behind me, who's also pretty good."
Pivotal Puig: The Dodgers threatened to add to their early lead in the third inning when singles by Taylor and Cody Bellinger put runners on the corners for Yasiel Puig, who was batting cleanup with Corey Seager out of the lineup. Puig bounced into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play, with the Phillies' infielders snapping the ball around the horn.
"That situational at-bat for Yasiel, first and third into a double play, that was a turning point in the game," said Roberts. "For us to tack on a run there would have made a difference."
"It was a surprise to all of us." -- Roberts, on watching the first grand slam Kershaw has allowed
"I didn't even see the ball. It was funny." -- Pivetta, on catching a line drive in his jersey to end the sixth inning. He said that happened once before in junior college.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Phillies have allowed four inside-the-park home runs in less than a month: Denard Span in San Francisco on Aug. 19; the Marlins' J.T. Realmuto in Philadelphia on Aug. 24; Michael A. Taylor (grand slam) in Washington on Sept. 8; and Chris Taylor's on Tuesday. Elias Sports Bureau said it is the most allowed by one team in a season since the 1983 Tigers allowed four. The Phillies allowed five inside-the-park homers in 1961.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Dodgers challenged a safe call at first base on on Cesar Hernandez's two-out grounder to shortstop in the bottom of the seventh inning. The call was overturned and Hernandez was ruled out, ending the inning.
Dodgers:Yu Darvish, who has beaten the Mets and Giants since joining the Dodgers, draws another favorable assignment when he starts against the Phillies on Tuesday in a 4:05 p.m. PT game. He's coming off seven scoreless innings in San Francisco, and in his only career start against the Phillies, he allowed one run in seven innings in May while pitching for the Rangers.
Phillies: Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola (11-10, 3.60 ERA) starts the second game of the four-game series against the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. He has a 2.19 ERA in his past two starts. Game time is 7:05 p.m. ET.
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