Phils Fall Short, Drop Series to Dodgers
By Matt Veasey
The Phillies staged 9th inning rallies in each of the last two games at Citizens Bank Park, only to fall just short both times in 4-3 and 10-8 losses to the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a result, the Fightin’ Phils also lost a series for the first time since the MLB All-Star break.
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In Wednesday night’s action, Aaron Harang (5-12) had an ineffective start. He lasted just 5 innings, during which he walked 5 batters and allowed 7 hits. It all added up to 4 earned runs for the Dodgers, and a 4-1 lead by the time he left the game.
Los Angeles took that 4-1 lead into the bottom of the 8th, when the Phils rallied for a pair thanks to a pair of surprising 2015 heroes to make it close. Odubel Herrera led off the inning with a single, and one out later scored ahead of the 10th homerun of the season for Jeff Francoeur.
The Dodgers brought on closer Kenley Jansen for the bottom of the 9th, and he retired the Phillies in order, striking out all three batters he faced to close out the LA victory with his 20th Save. The Win went to Dodgers starter Brett Anderson (6-6), who held the Phils to a single earned run on 4 hits over 6 innings.
On Thursday afternoon in a ‘Getaway Day’ special, the Phils spotted the man who has arguably been baseball’s best pitcher this season, Zack Greinke, a 3-run lead in the top of the first.
But the club fought back off the LA righty with a 5-spot of their own in the bottom of the frame with a 2-run single by Ryan Howard, and a 3-run homer from Domonic Brown.
Unfortunately, Phils’ starter David Buchanan (2-6) was awful on the day. He gave 3 more right back to LA in the top of the 2nd to put the Dodgers back on top 6-5, then yielded a solo homer to Greinke (11-2) with two outs in the top of the 3rd. Buchanan would last just 4 innings, allowing 7 earned runs on 10 hits.
Justin De Fratus allowed 3 more to the Dodgers in the top of the 6th, and so Los Angeles headed to the bottom of the 9th with a 10-6 lead.
LA skipper Don Mattingly tried to give Jansen a break, starting the 9th with Joel Peralta. But when the veteran allowed consecutive one-out singles, out came the closer. Maikel Franco immediately greeted him with a 2-run bomb of a double to the center field wall to make it 10-8 and bring the tying run to the plate.
After Howard looped an opposite-field single to put runners at the corners with one-out, Brown stepped to the plate as the winning run. He smoked a ball down the right field line, but right at 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who snared the liner and stepped on the bag to double off Howard and end the ball game.
So the Dodgers, despite losing the opener, left town with a series victory and a 3-game lead in the NL West. The Phillies dropped the series, and lowered their record to 15-15 since July 1st, 16-19 under interim manager Pete Mackanin, and 13-5 since the break.
The Phillies now head out on a 9-games, 10-day road trip to San Diego, Arizona, and Milwaukee. They don’t return again to Philly until August 18th for a 2-game quickie with Toronto, and then head right back out to Miami. So 12 of their next 14 are on the road, beginning tonight out in southern California.