After their pitching let them down in the first game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Braves, the Phillies knew they’d likely need a good offensive showing in the second game to salvage a split. Thankfully, the lineup delivered, jumping on Braves starter Kyle Wright for four first inning runs, and ultimately powering them to a 7-5 victory.
After wasting yet another clutch home run in the opener, it would have been understandable if the Phillies came out flat. But Wright, making his first start since May was not sharp and the Phillies took advantage.
The first three Phillies reached base, bringing J.T. Realmuto to the plate. Realmuto has been bad at home and bad with the bases loaded, and many fans had images of a rally-killing double play in their minds. Instead, he got the Phillies on the board with a sacrifice fly.
Perhaps buoyed by their teammate’s non-failure, the Phillies scored three more in the frame thanks to an RBI single by Nick Castellanos and a two-run double by Edmundo Sosa.
Hello early four-run lead pic.twitter.com/kJz30EK81r— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 11, 2023
But scoring runs hasn’t been much of a problem lately; preventing them always figured to be more difficult. Sure enough, starter Michael Lorenzen - perhaps making his final start - gave three of those runs back in the third courtesy of a home run by Matt Olson.
More runs would be needed, and the Phillies’ hitters were up to the task. Many people questioned why Jake Cave was starting both ends of the doubleheader, but he hit an RBI triple in the fourth, and two batters later, Trea Turner doubled him home. An inning later, Brandon Marsh homered to give the Phillies their seventh run of the night.
Would that be enough, considering the Braves hit home runs almost by accident these days? Olson ended Lorenzen’s night when he went deep yet again in the sixth. An inning later, Michael Harris II matched his home run from the first game with another solo shot off Gregory Soto in the seventh, cutting the lead to two.
But that was the final run the Braves would score. Matt Strahm pitched a clean eighth, and Craig Kimbrel pitched around a two-out single to retire Ronald Acuna Jr and finish off the win in the ninth.
The series will continue on Tuesday. After a day in which thirty total runs were scored, runs figure to be harder to come by with Zack Wheeler opposing Max Fried. Then again, with the way these teams have been hitting, it isn’t clear that even those guys will be able to slow anything down.