Another night, another blown lead for the Dodgers in Philadelphia. On Wednesday, the Phillies rallied for three runs in the seventh inning then two more in a sloppy eighth inning for a 7-5 win in the third game of an increasingly frustrating four-game series at Citizens Bank Park.
Aaron Altherr was in the center of things for the Phillies for a third straight night. He hit a game-tying home run in the seventh inning, his third in three games during this series. Then in the eighth, he hit a two-run single to the right field wall off Brandon Morrow to break a 5-5 tie, after Luis Avilan walked the leadoff batter then botched a force play at second base with a throw into center field.
Altherr in the series has driven in nine runs in three games.
The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the National League West remains two, with Arizona battling the Padres in San Diego on Wednesday night.
After losing 2-0 leads in each of the first two games of the series, the Dodgers found themselves on the other side of that equation on Wednesday, with the Phillies plating two against Alex Wood in the second inning.
But Wood settled down after that, retiring his next 13 batters faced. He allowed 11 ground balls and six strikeouts to his 21 batters faced in six innings, looking much more like the pre-All-Star break Wood (1.67 ERA, 63.5% ground ball rate) than the one after it (4.07 ERA, 44.0% ground ball rate entering Wednesday).
The Dodgers still trailed 2-1 in the seventh inning, but a pair of pinch-hit extra-base hits quickly remedied that. Chase Utley, after his third ovation in as many days from the Philadelphia fans, led off the inning with a triple, and Kike Hernandez doubled him home.
Two outs later, the Phillies intentionally walked Justin Turner so the left-handed Hoby Milner could face the left-handed Cody Bellinger, and Bellinger made the decision backfire with a two-run double, giving the Dodgers their first lead of the night.
The lead was short-lived.
Staked to a two-run lead in the seventh inning, Ross Stripling allowed a game-tying, two-run shot to Altherr, then one out later Tommy Joseph deposited a curve ball into the seats to regain the lead for the Phillies.
Stripling has allowed at least one run in each of his last four appearances — all on this road trip — with a 24.00 ERA in those three total innings.
Home runs: Chris Taylor (21); Aaron Altherr (19), Tommy Joseph (22)
WP - Luis Garcia (2-4): 1 IP, 1 unearned run, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
LP - Luis Avilan (2-3): ⅓ IP, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, 1 strikeout
Sv - Hector Neris (23): 1 IP, 1 strikeout