Realmuto’s big day helps Phils take care of Marlins
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — J.T. Realmuto had a big day at the plate, following a two-run walk-off homer in the completion of Saturday’s suspended game with a 3-for-5 performance with two RBIs and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 7-4 on Sunday.
Realmuto’s two-run 10th-inning homer gave the Phillies a 4-2 win in the conclusion to Saturday’s suspended game.
Andrew McCutchen and Didi Gregorius also homered in Sunday’s scheduled game for the Phillies, who rallied from a 4-2 deficit to give starting pitcher Zack Wheeler the win.
Philadelphia has won 10 of its past 14 games and have won four series in a row for the first time since June 12 to 24, 2018.
The Phillies trail the New York Mets by just two games in the National League East — increasing the possibility that they may become buyers at the July 30 trade deadline in an attempt to end Philadelphia’s playoff drought which goes back to 2011.
“Hopefully, we’re making the right case,” Realmuto said. “We would have liked to not have to make the case this late. We would have liked to have played better earlier in the season.
“But now that we’ve got everyone back on the field and playing well, we’re doing all we can to try to convince them to go out and get what we need. We’re here to compete and we want to get to the postseason. We have to keep playing well and keep winning series to put pressure on them to get us some help.”
Adam Duvall hit his 20th homer of the season for the Marlins, who have lost six of their past eight games. They also lost second baseman Jazz Chisholm (left shoulder contusion) and first baseman Garrett Cooper (elbow) to injuries.
“It was one of those days,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “You start the day hopeful with where you are at. Hopefully, you want to get two, but you don’t get one and then you see Jazz go down and Coop go down.”
Realmuto has five multi-hit games since July 4 and has shown signs of opposite-field power.
In the conclusion of Saturday’s game, Realmuto powered an 0-2 fastball from Miami’s Yimi Garcia to the opposite field for his second career walk-off homer and ninth homer of the season.
In the regularly scheduled game, Realmuto followed a second-inning RBI single with an opposite-field single that scored Travis Jankowski in the eighth that added to the lead.
“With two strikes, I’ve been trying to get the ball deeper and that’s when I’m going to go to the opposite field,” Realmuto said. “Overall earlier in the count, I’ve been trying to pull side damage and then later in the count try to see the ball deeper. That’s how it worked out today.”
Wheeler — who has thrown the most innings of any starting pitcher in the majors at 125 2/3 — didn’t appear to have his best stuff. However, Miami was only able to get to him in the third inning with four runs, highlighted by Duvall’s two-run shot that gave the Marlins a 4-2 lead.
“It’s hard to get to him, but we strung some hits together and (Duvall) caps it off,” Mattingly said. “After five, we’re squared up and you feel like you like your chances. But then, we were not able to get the big hit.”
Wheeler went six innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs while striking out seven to improve to 7-5 on the season.
“My mindset going out there today was to get a win,” Wheeler said. “Whatever way it happens, find a way. Unfortunately, I gave up four, which didn’t help. But as long as the team wins it’s all that matters.”
The Marlins’ lead held until the bottom of the fifth. McCutchen connected on a first-pitch Braxton Garrett curveball for a solo shot that chased the Marlins starting pitcher and cut the Miami lead to 4-3. Two hitters later against reliever John Curtiss, Gregorius homered into the right-field bleachers for his eighth of the year to tie the game.
“We have the team that can score runs and we can score runs,” McCutchen said. “We felt like we were in the game the entire way, even down a few runs. We were able to do that and get the win today.”
Philadelphia took the lead in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Jean Segura. McCutchen followed with a fielder’s choice to give Philadelphia the 6-4 lead.
The Phillies’ bullpen held the lead for the final three innings as Connor Brogdon and Bailey Falter — two of the four Phillies players who spent time on the COVID-19 list this week for contact tracing — escaped an eighth-inning bases-loaded jam. Hector Neris pitched the ninth inning for his 12th save.
Marlins: Chisholm Jr. left Sunday’s game in the first inning with left shoulder contusion following a diving attempt on Bryce Harper’s single in short right field. X-rays were negative, but Chisholm will undergo a further examination on Monday in Washington ... Cooper left in the eighth inning with wrist issue after a collision with Jankowski at the bag. “We’re probably going to get them examined in DC to see what’s going on,” Mattingly said.
Phillies: Aaron Nola is scheduled to pitch for the Phillies on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium after coming off the team’s COVID-19 list. Nola was one of the Phillies who was in contact tracing following third baseman Alec Bohm’s positive test on July 10 in Boston, forcing the right-hander to miss his scheduled start the next day. Nola did not test positive for COVID-19. The earliest that Bohm could return would be Thursday against the Atlanta Braves, provided that he’s cleared protocol.
Marlins: Miami heads to Washington, where it will kick off a three-game set against the Nationals on Monday night.
Phillies: After a day off Monday, Philadelphia travels to Yankee Stadium for a two-game interleague set Tuesday.
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