The Philadelphia Phillies built an early lead on Tuesday night and then held on at the end for a narrow victory over the visiting Chicago White Sox.
The Phillies built an early lead on Tuesday night in the opener of a quick two-game Interleague series with the visiting Chicago White Sox, but had to hang on at the end to claim a 7-6 victory on a gorgeous night for baseball at Citizens Bank Park.
The Fightin’ Phils offense rolled out to a 7-3 lead over the first six frames in front of effective rookie starter Jake Thompson.
Thompson (3-5) failed to reach the 6th inning for the sixth time in his nine starts since being promted to the big leagues on August 6th.
However, the 22-year old righty did limit the Chisox to just four hits while walking three batters. He threw 54 strikes among his 92 total pitches on the night.
Odubel Herrera spotted the rookie a 2-0 lead with his 15th home run of the season in the bottom of the 1st inning.
The White Sox pushed ahead by a 3-2 score when Melky Cabrera drove his 12th homer of the year, a three-run shot, out on a line to right field in the top of the 3rd inning.
But the Phils then responded with a nice two-run rally in the bottom of the same frame, all the action beginning with two outs and nobody on base.
Herrera started it with a base hit, and then stole his 23rd base of the season. Tommy Joseph followed with an RBI double to knot the score at 3-3. Joseph then scored the go-ahead run when Maikel Franco reached on an error.
In the bottom of the 5th, Roman Quinn led off with a base hit, stole 2nd, moved to 3rd on a wild pitch by Chicago starter James Shields, and then scored on another hit by Herrera.
In the 6th, Quinn singled with one out to score both Aaron Altherr and Cody Asche, each of whom had reached on their own hits earlier in the inning, and the Phillies had a seemingly comfy 7-3 lead.
Quinn and Herrera, hitting out of the two and three spots in the batting order, combined to go 5-9 with four runs and five RBI with a homer and three steals on the night for the Phillies.
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That lead held into the 9th, and Phillies’ skipper Pete Mackanin decided to go to his embattled close, Jeanmar Gomez.
Gomez did nothing to assuage recent fan skepticism that he should continue in the role, yielding three runs on three hits and a walk as the White Sox cut the lead to just a single run.
Michael Mariot was brought on following a two-run double by Adam Eaton off Gomez. Mariot retired shortstop Tim Anderson to put an end to the proceedings, leaving Eaton at 2nd as the potential tying run and earning his own first Save in the big leagues.
“It was pretty cool. I want to say I had more adrenaline even before I got up,” said Mariot per MLB.com contributors. “I heard somebody say if somebody goes in it’s a save opportunity. That kind of got the adrenaline going. Going out there I was just thinking about throwing strikes and getting ahead.”
The two teams will wrap this series with a game on Wednesday night back at Citizens Bank Park. They split an earlier two-game meeting this season out in Chicago.
The Phillies will then head out onto the road for their final trip of the season, playing four games at CitiField against the New York Mets which could be pivotal in the NL Wildcard race, and then three in Washington against the division-leading Nationals.