Altherr powers Phillies past Marlins 14-2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Confidence is a big deal for Aaron Altherr.
A couple more games like Friday night should help out a lot.
The 27-year-old Altherr was expected to be a regular contributor for Philadelphia after he had 19 homers and 65 RBIs in 107 games last season. But the outfielder struggled with his swing all spring and was sent down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on July 22 after hitting just .171 with six homers.
Altherr connected for a two-run shot in the second for his first homer since June 6. He added a three-run drive in the fifth and finished with four hits.
“I didn’t make any mechanical adjustments, didn’t think about anything like that,” Altherr said. “Just confidence was the biggest thing. I feel whenever you’re confident up there at the plate, good things are going to happen.”
Philadelphia stayed 7 1/2 games back of NL East-leading Atlanta, which beat Washington 10-5 for its sixth straight win. The Phillies were in prime position to make the postseason before stumbling in recent weeks.
Zach Eflin (10-7) pitched 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in his first win since Aug. 16. The right-hander was 0-3 with an 8.64 ERA in his last four appearances.
Eflin utilized his four-seam fastball more against the Marlins than in recent outings.
“You see how brilliant he can be,” manager Gabe Kapler said.
J.T. Realmuto homered for Miami, which dropped its fourth straight. Wei-Yin Chen (6-11) was tagged for five runs and seven hits in four innings.
Quinn finished with two hits and three RBIs after being sidelined by a small fracture in his right foot. He hit a solo drive in the second and drove in two runs with a bases-loaded fielder’s choice in the fourth.
Chen struck out four and walked two in another slugging performance on the road. The left-hander is 5-3 with a 1.77 ERA in 12 home starts, but just 1-8 with a 9.29 ERA in 12 road starts.
“I guess I probably need to do some more homework for the games on the road,” Chen said. “Maybe that’s what I need to do.”
After going 0 for 14 with 10 strikeouts, Walding recorded his first career hit when he homered off catcher Bryan Holaday in the ninth.
“I was speechless,” Walding said. “Probably one of the happiest moments I’ve ever had in my life. “It was very special and something, obviously, I’ll never forget the rest of my life.”
Realmuto’s homer was his 21st of the season — and 18th when he is in the lineup as a catcher. He’s one shy of matching the Marlins record for homers by a catcher in a season; Charles Johnson had 19 in games where he was behind the plate in 1997.
Marlins: Rookie OF Austin Dean returned to the lineup after missing both games of Thursday’s doubleheader against the Mets due to illness. Dean went 2 for 4.
RHP Vince Velasquez (9-11, 4.30) goes for Philadelphia on Saturday night in the second of a three-game set against the Marlins, who will be using a bevy of relievers.