Phillies win game one against Marlins thanks to Pache’s pinch-hitting heroics

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Phillies Pache
Philadelphia Phillies’ Cristian Pache (19) hits a two-run home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Friday, July 7, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

The Phillies saw the Marlins for the first time in three months thanks to the MLB’s new schedule. And, in what seems to happen every series they face off against the fish, Sandy Alcantara was on the bump. Alcantara opposed Zack Wheeler in what was expected to be a low-scoring pitcher’s duel for the majority of the game.

Phillies struggled early

Despite Alcantara’s overwhelming success in the big leagues thus far, he has typically struggled against the Phillies in recent years. However, tonight showcased some of his best stuff, which stifled the Phils for the majority of the game.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Alec Bohm (28) congratulates J.T. Realmuto after Realmuto hit a solo home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Friday, July 7, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Aside from a JT Realmuto solo homerun in the top of the sixth inning, the right-hander held the Phillies in check. Alcantara would exit the game after 6.2 innings of work, only allowing the homer to Realmuto.

Even though Wheeler would likely argue that it wasn’t his best game, he still got the job done on his side of the game. The Phillies’ ace went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. However, he did allow a run after a Jacob Stallings single, scoring old friend Jean Segura in the top of the second inning. Garrett Cooper followed this up with a two-run homer in the fourth inning, extending the Marlins lead to three in the fourth.

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) aims a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Friday, July 7, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

They would keep a two-run lead into the top of the ninth inning.

The Phillies unlikely hero

Realmuto would lead off the ninth for Philadelphia, who was their only bit of offense for the game up until this point. He quickly continued this success with a leadoff single, bringing Bryson Stott to the plate. However, Stott quickly struck out after a questionable check swing.

Alec Bohm, another Phillie who’s been on a hot streak during their improbable 13-game road winning streak, stepped up to the plate, and ripped a double down the left field line to score Realmuto. This brought the score to 3-2, with the bottom of the Phillies lineup due up with one out.

With left-hander AJ Puk on the mound for Miami, Rob Thomson would replace back to back batters with right-handed pinch hitters in Josh Harrison and Cristian Pache. Harrison quickly struck out on three pitches, bringing former top Braves’ prospect Pache to the plate.

With two outs in the top of the ninth, Pache would keep the Phillies magic moving.

Pache’s second homer in a Phillies uniform gave Philadelphia their first lead of the game. Despite Kyle Schwarber coming up next and striking out, the vibes were high, and in came the red-hot Craig Kimbrel, who has only allowed one run since June 1st.

It would take Kimbrel only four total pitches to put the Marlins aside in the ninth, securing the Phillies fourth straight win. The win also gave Philly their 13 straight road win, tied for the longest such streak in franchise history.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Marta Lavandier