Phillies Blast Past Dodgers to Avoid Sweep

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Aug 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco (7) reacts with catcher Cameron Rupp (29) after hitting a two RBI home run during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Phillies won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco (7) reacts with catcher Cameron Rupp (29) after hitting a two RBI home run during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Phillies won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Philadelphia Phillies defeated the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers in a series finale on Thursday evening at Citizens Bank Park.

After the host Phillies watched the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers pound the ball out of Citizens Bank Park for the first two games of this midweek series, the Fightin’ Phils decided they had seen enough.

In the series finale on Thursday night, the Phillies used a pair of home runs to rally from behind for a 5-4 victory, finally sending the fans home from South Philly in a happy mood.

The Dodgers scored three times off Phils’ starter Jerad Eickhoff before the righty had retired a single batter in the top of the 1st inning, capped by a three-run homer off the bat of Justin Turner.

However, Eickhoff settled down and lasted six full innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits. He registered eight strikeouts against two walks, and threw 57 strikes among his 99 pitches on the night.

In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Aaron Altherr singled home Cameron Rupp to get the Phillies on the board against Dodgers starter Ross Stripling.

Stripling allowed six hits and three runs, two of those earned, over five frames. He struck out five and walked two batters.

Yasmani Grandal lined his 20th home run of the season to right field in the top of the 4th inning, upping the LA lead to a 4-1 margin.

In the bottom of the frame, Ryan Howard blasted his 19th homer, a solo shot that brought the Phils back to within 4-2. Later in the inning, Taylor Featherston doubled home Altherr to get the Phillies within a run at 4-3.

That score held into the bottom of the 7th where Freddy Galvis led off with a base hit on a 3-2 pitch from LA reliever Grant Dayton. Maikel Franco then stepped in, and the Phillies 3rd baseman crushed his 22nd home run out to center field, pushing the Phils on top by the final 5-4 score.

Jeanmar Gomez came on in the 9th inning to record his 32nd Save of the season, following shutdown innings from Michael Mariot (1-0) and Hector Neris.

The key was Eickhoff’s ability to recover after that initial bombing. The first two nights of the series, the games got away from the Phillies. Eickhoff didn’t let that happen on Thursday.

“He’s got a bulldog mentality,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Eickhoff per MLB.com contributor Stephen Pianovich. “He means business when he goes out there. When he has good fastball command, he’s really good. Tonight, it wasn’t the greatest, but he threw an awful lot of good curveballs.”

The Phillies are now 4-2 on their current home stand which concludes this weekend with a visit from the Saint Louis Cardinals, who took three out of four from the Phils back in early May. The Cards are now in possession of the 2nd NL Wildcard slot, with the Phillies sitting eight games back.

Next: Howard Learns Fate in Al Jazeera Investigation

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