Phillies tie franchise record with seven home runs

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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.

Braves clinch postseason spot with 10-1 win over Nationals

Dansby Swanson
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The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.

Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.

They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.

The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.