The Phillies beat up on Reds pitching Thursday night in Cincinnati, blasting seven home runs and tying a franchise record in the process. Rhys Hoskins, Maikel Franco, and Nick Williams each homered twice and Carlos Santana homered once in the Phillies’ 9-4 victory. The only other time the Phillies hit seven homers in a game was on September 8, 1998 against the Reds when Rico Brogna, Kevin Sefcik, and Bobby Estalella each homered twice and Marlon Anderson homered once.
With the offensive explosion, the Phillies improved to 58-44. The Braves lost 8-2 to the Dodgers, so the Phillies increased their lead over them to 2.5 games in the NL East. The third-place Nationals defeated the Marlins 10-3 and remain seven games behind the Phillies.
Hoskins, Franco, and Williams are all on hot streaks:
- Hoskins, since July 10: .308/.400/.712 (1.112 OPS), 6 HR
- Franco, since July 9: .291/.328/.691 (1.018 OPS), 7 HR
- Williams, in July: .333/.412/.573 (.985 OPS), 5 HR
With Hoskins and Williams performing well, and Odubel Herrera‘s spot entrenched, the Phillies may not feel the need to acquire an outfielder ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The club had been linked to the Orioles’ Adam Jones. Additionally, with Franco also swinging a hot bat, third base may not rank as high on the Phillies’ list of priorities as it once did. The Phillies were thought to have had some interest in the Royals’ Mike Moustakas and the Twins’ Eduardo Escobar, among others.
Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.
It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.
The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.
In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.
Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.