Phillies’ offense comes alive in series finale against Dodgers

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Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Gregory Soto throws during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, June 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

The Philadelphia Phillies took down the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 on Sunday, earning the series victory over the Dodgers 2-1 in the process. The Phillies now close out their homestand with a 5-1 record. Taijuan Walker earned his sixth win of the season for the Phillies after pitching five shutout innings.

Former Dodger Trea Turner scored three runs against his former team, going 3-for-5 on the day. Nick Castellanos brought the power, slugging a home run while going 2-for-5 with two RBI. Bryce Harper and Bryson Stott both had multi-hit days as well.

Phillies Convert Early on Opportunities

Taijuan Walker allowed two baserunners but struck out three in the top of the first for the Phillies. He struck out the Dodgers’ top two bats in Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman before allowing a double to right field from Will Smith. Following a walk from Max Muncy to put two runners on, Walker put an end to the inning with a three-pitch strikeout against J.D. Martinez.

The Dodgers opted to use an opener on the day, using relief pitcher Caleb Ferguson early on. The Phillies were seeing Ferguson’s pitches well early on as each of the top three batters hit ground balls up the middle. Schwarber resulted in a groundout while Trea Turner and Nick Castellanos each reached on singles, putting runners on the corner for Bryce Harper.

Harper continued the slew of singles, poking one into left field, scoring Turner and giving the Phillies the 1-0 lead. The Phillies did, however, continue their trend of leaving runners on base as Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott struck out back-to-back to end the inning.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper (3) high fives Trea Turner, right, after scoring on an RBI-single hit by Bryson Stott during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, June 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

After a quiet second inning, Betts reached base on a one-out single in the top of the third. After Freeman flew out to center field, Betts stole second base to put the tying run in scoring position. Smith then turned an 0-2 count into a walk, putting two runners on base. Walker, however, was able to escape unscathed as Brandon Marsh made a running catch on the warning track, stealing an extra-base hit from Muncy for the third out.

The Phillies took the momentum from Marsh’s catch and rolled with it. Turner led off the bottom of the inning with a double into center field. After a fly-out to left field for Castellanos, the Dodgers intentionally walked Harper to set up the double play. The Phillies, however, had different plans in mind as Turner and Harper executed a double steal, moving both runners into scoring position. Two batters later, Stott slung a full-count changeup into left-center field, scoring Turner and Harper and increasing the Phillies’ lead to 3-0.

Walker Blanks Five, Passes the Ball to the Pen

Taijuan Walker pitched five shutout innings for the Phillies, striking out five batters while allowing four baserunners on the day. Walker, who struggled early on in the season, owns a 1.93 ERA over his past five starts. Gregory Soto took the ball in the top of the sixth for the Phillies with hopes of securing the path to Walker’s six win of the season.

Known Phillie-killer Freddie Freeman led off the inning against Soto, taking a 1-0 slider just over the fence in left-center field to put the Dodgers on the board. Soto then took down the next three batters with Kody Clemens making a solid defensive stop at first against Muncy.

Stott, fresh off his two-RBI single, worked a full-count walk to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Two batters later, Marsh singled into right field as Stott advanced to third on the play. With runners on the corners, Garrett Stubbs squared up a bunt down the third base line, scoring Stott. While Stubbs reached safely on the play, the Dodgers caught Marsh in between bases on a rundown for the second out of the inning. The Phillies, however, regained their three-run advantage as the score stood 4-1 going into the seventh.

Jason Heyward retook the run for the Dodgers, hitting a solo shot down the right field line with two outs off Seranthony Dominguez. (Am I the only one thinking this is a Phillies-Braves game? First Freeman, now Heyward goes yard? Time is a weird thing.)

Turner Hits 1,100 and Castellanos Breaks I-95

In the bottom of the seventh, Turner kicked off the inning with a single into left field. His single, hit off reliever Nick Robertson, was the 1,100th hit of Turner’s career. Turner would not stay on first base for long, however, as Nick Castellanos drove a home run into left-center field.

Three batters later, Stott laced a two-out triple down the right-field line. Clemens then batted Stott in on a single into right field, giving the Phillies a 7-2 going into the eighth inning.

With the top of the order due up, Jose Alvarado entered the game for the Phillies. Alvarado allowed a lead-off walk to Betts before Freeman hit a single into right field, putting two runners on quickly with no outs. Smith then walked, loading the bases for the Dodgers with no outs against Alvarado. Muncy then hit into a fielder’s choice with Turner taking the ball himself at second to get Smith out on the play. Betts scored as the Dodgers kept runners on the corners. Alvarado, however, worked out of the inning, striking out J.D. Martinez and Chris Taylor to maintain the Phillies’ 7-3 lead.

Craig Kimbrel then entered in a non-save situation in the top of the ninth. Kimbrel took down the Dodgers in order, securing the Phillies’ victory and their series victory over the Dodgers.

Outside the Box Score

Sunday’s game marks Phillies’ pitcher Zack Wheeler’s 10th year of service time in Major League Baseball. Wheeler, who made his debut with the New York Mets in 2013, locks in a nice pension to be enjoyed for years to come.

Trea Turner, meanwhile, went 3-for-4 on the day with three runs scored and a double. On the day, Turner reached his 1,100th career hit and notched his fifth game in Phillies’ uniform with at least three base hits.

Alec Bohm returned from the Injured List on Sunday having recovered from a strained hamstring.

Darick Hall continues his rehab assignment with Lehigh Valley. He currently is 10-for-31 with one home run and an .877 OPS over eight games played. Hall will need to earn his way back onto the Phillies’ roster, and the Phillies can only keep Hall on the big-league IL through June 29th. Assuming Hall’s performance continues, it seems like a no-brainer for him to return to Philadelphia by the end of the month.

Due Up for the Fightin’s

Following the getaway day victory for the Phillies, they will hop on the plane and set out for the West Coast. They’ll kick off their road trip in Arizona with a four-game set against the Diamondbacks before traveling to Las Vegas Oakland to face the Athletics for three. Game One against the Diamondbacks will start at 9:40 P.M. Monday night.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Derik Hamilton