SAN DIEGO -- The Phillies missed Rhys Hoskins’ bat while he was out with injury. Perhaps to emphasize the point, he homered not once, but twice Sunday afternoon in his first game since Aug. 5.
Hoskins’ multihomer game led the Phillies to a 7-4 victory over the Padres a Petco Park -- and a much-needed series win after Philadelphia lost eight of its previous 11 games.
“Great," Hoskins said of his return from a left groin strain. “Obviously, that's a pretty big series win for us with the way that the road trip started. … I know we're trying to chase these guys down in the [NL Wild Card race] But that's a good team. That's a playoff-caliber team.
“So to beat them at home is something that we should be proud of. Always good to win a series going into an off-day, too, so pretty stoked about that.”
Hoskins hit his first home run of the game in the fourth inning, sending a 3-0 fastball from Ryan Weathers a projected 426 feet to put the Phillies on the board. An inning later, Hoskins sent a 1-2 changeup from Miguel Diaz 395 feet to right-center field, marking his fourth multihomer game of the season and the ninth of his career.
Hoskins said getting regular offense from throughout the lineup will be key as the Phillies make a push for October.
“We have a healthy lineup,” Hoskins said. “We're not relying on one or two guys every single night. That's, I think, what makes the lineup deep. We got a lot of different contributions today, and I think that you kind of see that throughout the game with [the] quality of bats.”
Hoskins’ return comes at a key moment, as the Phillies’ offense had shown noticeable declines in his absence.
They averaged only 2.86 runs a game during Hopkins’ 14-game absence, ahead of only the Orioles (2.80) across MLB during that time. The Phillies’ seven runs on Sunday were the most they’ve scored in a game since Hoskins last played, when they also scored seven against the Nationals on Aug. 5.
"The right time was as soon as we could get him back,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “I would have taken him back a week ago.”
Since the start of the 2020 season, the Phillies are 75-65 with Hoskins in the starting lineup. They are 25-7 in games in which he homered.
Gibson, who had his longest outing in a Phillies uniform since being traded from the Rangers on July 30, said Hoskins’ ability to work counts and hit for power makes him tough to pitch to.
“Rhys is a stud,” Gibson said. “Rhys is a guy that we need in the lineup. … He's a guy that gives pitchers problems because he has so many weapons up there.”
The first baseman's return will also come with some caution.
On Sunday, Hoskins was taken out of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning and replaced by Luke Williams. The move could become a regular thing as the Phillies and Hoskins look to avoid another injury to his left groin.
“We just took him out as precautionary,” Girardi said. “… We're going to do that to protect him. Sometimes, it can be just one play that grabs him.”