Santana HR jump-starts Phils, beat Miami 9-4 to end skid
MIAMI (AP) — Strobe party lights flashed from the far end of the Philadelphia Phillies‘ postgame clubhouse, and a large beer cooler stood in the middle of the room as manager Gabe Kapler stepped outside for a conversation.
“It’s a little loud in there right now,” he said.
The sound was one big sigh of relief from the Phillies.
“We feel a lot more confidence now having had that game,” Kapler said.
The Phillies closed to within three games of NL East leader Atlanta, which lost to Boston 5-1. Philadelphia lost to last-place Miami on Monday but now has a chance to win a series for the first time in a month on Wednesday.
Jake Arrieta (10-9) struck out a season-high 11 and earned his first win since July 31. He allowed four runs in 7 1/3 innings and improved to 5-1 in eight career starts against the Marlins.
“We got him the lead, and he knew exactly what to do with it,” Kapler said. “Right when we needed it, he stepped up.”
J.T. Realmuto hit two solo homers off Arrieta, increasing his season total to 20.
“Our offense is capable of having these breakout games, and not just one out of 10,” Arrieta said. “We’ve got a nice cavalry of bats. We can really swing it. It just hasn’t been clicking for us of late.”
After totaling five runs in the previous four games, the Phils received a spark from Santana, who led off for only the fifth time this season. After he hit his 21st homer, Hernandez’s three-run triple later in the inning made it 4-0. By the fifth it was 8-1.
“It’s big giving my team energy, especially early in the game,” Santana said. “Everybody’s happy.”
Seven Miami pitchers combined to allow nine hits and 10 walks while hitting two batters. The Phils drew no walks in Monday’s listless loss.
“We got back to our Phillies style of offense,” Kapler said. “We saw a lot of pitches. We worked a lot of walks and had some extra-base hits at the end of deep counts.”
Rhys Hoskins earned a painful RBI in the ninth when he was hit on the shoulder with the bases loaded. He left the game for a pinch runner, but after the game Kapler said Hoskins was fine.
Newly engaged Marlins starter Trevor Richards (3-8) lasted only 1 1/3 innings in his shortest outing yet. The rookie gave up four walks, four hits and six runs, and remained winless since July 14.
“I was just falling behind,” Richards said. “I didn’t have command of my fastball.”
The Marlins need an 8-15 finish to avoid their first 100-loss season since 2013.
Former Phillies star Jimmy Rollins joined the team at Kapler’s invitation to offer playoff-race encouragement.
Announced attendance at Marlins Park was 7,131. There were 1,396 fans actually in the stands for the first inning, according to a head count.
Marlins: INF Martin Prado (abdominal strain) went on the 60-day DL, ending another injury-plagued season in which he batted .244 in 54 games. Prado, who is under contract next season for $15 million, was limited to 37 games in 2017.
“It has been a rough couple of years for Martin,” manager Don Mattingly said.
The Marlins reinstated LHP Jarlin Garcia and RHP Elieser Hernandez from the 10-day DL, recalled INF-OF Chris Bostick from Triple-A New Orleans, and selected the contracts of RHP Tyler Kinley and 1B-OF Peter O’Brien from New Orleans.
Marlins: SS JT Riddle was scratched from the starting lineup because of a sore left wrist.
RHP Nick Pivetta (7-10, 4.66) is scheduled to start the series finale Wednesday night against Miami RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-0, 1.80), making his second start of the season.