The Philadelphia Phillies‘ August long-ball barrage continued Monday night at Citizens Bank Park as they topped the Los Angeles Angels 6-4 on the strength of three home runs, which accounted for five of their runs. Shortstop Trea Turner hit two of the round-trippers. It’s the second time this month he’s gone deep twice in the same game (the other was when he hit a pair in the same inning at Washington on August 19). It marked the sixth time this month that Phillie has had a multiple-homer game. The club has smashed the team record for four-baggers in a month. At this point, with two games left in August, Phillies batters have rung the bell 52 times, besting the previous mark of 46 set in September of 2019.
Starting From Behind
Once again, the Phils allowed the opponents to score first. Starter Taijuan Walker hit Angels leadoff hitter Nolan Schanuel, who would eventually score on a two-out single by Luis Rengifo. It could’ve been worse as the Halos loaded the bases after one-time Phillie Mickey Moniak was ruled safe on a bunt after initially being called out. However, former Phillies prospect Logan O’Hoppe’s smash to short was handled by Turner, and the threat ended.
As is often the case, when a player does something good on defense, it carries over to the next at-bat. Such was the case for Turner, as he blasted Lucas Giolito’s down-and-in changeup into the seats in left field.
Walker ran into trouble with two outs in the fourth inning. Following a walk and single, manager Rob Thomson elected to walk the 2021 AL MVP, Shohei Ohtani, to load the bases. The move failed when Brandon Drury grounded a ball up the middle just out of Turner’s reach and the Angels were on top 3-1. They didn’t stay there long as Turner walked to lead off the bottom of the frame, and Bryce Harper made them pay. With the backdrop of a striking sunset over South Philadelphia, Harper drilled a line drive over the wall in right-center.
Phillies’ Long-Ball Barrage
In the next inning, Turner gave the Phillies the lead with a nearly 400-foot shot to left-center, which also plated Jake Cave, who led the inning off with a single.
In the seventh, Moniak singled off Matt Strahm. He drove in Drury and made it 5-4, but Jeff Hoffman came in to put out the fire.
Insurance was provided by an eighth-inning single by Brandon Marsh, who has a 10-game hitting streak; it knocked in Alec Bohm after he doubled. Gregory Soto and Craig Kimbrel had uneventful appearances in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to secure the team’s fourth win in a row and sixth in their last seven contests.
Quotes of the Night
“He’s a combination of on-base and slug,” said Thomson about Turner, who since August 4, has added 71 points to his OPS. “If he slugs, we’re putting up points and if he gets on base then you’ve got the slug right behind him. It makes the lineup very dangerous when he’s doing what he’s doing right now.”
“It makes our job easier,” said Walker, who went five and two-thirds innings and gave up only three runs despite allowing 11 baserunners (eight hits, two walks, and a hit batters), “knowing if we do give up a couple runs the offense is going to be in it the whole game.”
“It’s a humbling game,” said Turner, who has a 17-game home hitting streak, “I think we all know that you try to help out your teammates, focus on the bigger picture, not so much yourself when you’re not playing well. On any given day, you can look down on yourself but when somebody else hits a homer and you can root for them just as hard as you root for yourself, I think it makes a long year a lot easier. So just be a good teammate and I think that’s when you come together as a team and play good baseball.”
Rock Hoffman has been covering sports in the Philadelphia region for over 30 years. He’s been the co-host of a radio show – SportsPage – on the Delaware Valley Radio Network (WRDV.org) in the time. He’s reported on games involving all the Philadelphia teams at the profession and collegiate levels. During his career he’s provided coverage for a Super Bowl, an All-Star Game, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games as well NFL, MLB and NHL playoff games. Additionally, he’s the College Football Editor for Football Stories Magazine (FootballStories.com).