Alec Bohm helps Phils beat Braves 7-2, take 2 of 3 from Atlanta

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PHILADELPHIA — Alec Bohm hit a go-ahead single in a five-run fifth inning and added an RBI double in the sixth, helping the Philadelphia Phillies beat Atlanta 7-2 to take two of three from the Braves.

Kyle Gibson (6-4) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, and the Phillies (51-47) tied St. Louis for the National League’s final wild card berth, pending the Cardinals’ game at Toronto later Wednesday.

“This is a competitive year and we’ve battled back and forth all the way along,” Bohm said. “It’s going to be an exciting finish here.”

“This was definitely big for us,” said catcher J.T. Realmuto, who was 2-for-4 with two RBIs on Wednesday. “The Cubs series didn’t go as planned. But it was good to win this series and beat a really good team in this division.”

Bohm, the Phillies’ No. 7 hitter, extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games and has consecutive multihit games for the first time since reaching the majors in 2020. He is 20-for-41 (.488) with a 1.218 OPS and nine RBIs during the spurt, raising his average to .293.

Errors by Charlie Morton (5-5) and second baseman Robinson Cano contributed to the Phillies’ fifth-inning rally. Atlanta entered with 40 errors, third-fewest in the majors behind Seattle (32) and St. Louis (33).

“We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We really couldn’t get anything going offensively.”

Bryson Stott walked leading off the fifth and took third when Morton bounced a pickoff attempt past first. Didi Gregorius‘ RBI grounder deflected off Cano’s glove and into right field, Odubel Herrera hit a run-scoring single and Kyle Schwarber followed with a sacrifice fly. Realmuto capped the rally with a two-run single as he extended his hitting streak to nine games where he’s posted a .438 batting average.

“He’s swinging the bat well with authority making solid contact and he’s had some really big hits lately,” Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said. “He’s a really good offensive player when he’s swinging at strikes, using the field and letting it go.”

Morton, 0-2 in his last three starts, allowed five runs – four earned – and six hits in five innings.

“I just kept wanting to keep them in situations where a ground ball was a double play and limit the extra base hits,” Gibson said. “That kept the pressure off myself.”

Matt Olson hit his 20th homer. a two-run drive in the sixth off the batter’s eye in center. He has five homers against the Phillies this season, including two in two days. Olson has seven homers at Citizens Bank Park out of his nine career hits.

Atlanta has lost eight of its last nine series finales. Austin Riley went 0 for 4, ending a career-best 18-game hitting streak.

“We were probably an out away from winning the series,” Snitker said, referring to Monday night’s 6-4 loss inm on an eighth-inning homer. “We’ve had to fight through adversities and we’ll have to do that again.”

Realmuto and Darick Hall also had two hits for the Phillies, who are 42-16 when scoring four runs or more.


Braves: RHP Kirby Yates‘ rehab assignment was transferred to Triple-A Gwinnett as he returns from Tommy John surgery. The 35-year-old last pitched in the major leagues with San Diego on Aug 14, 2020.

Phillies: 2B Jean Segura was scheduled to make a second rehabilitation appearance for Triple-A Lehigh Valley at Durham on Wednesday night. Segura went 0 for 3 with a walk as a DH in his first game since breaking his right ring finger on May 31. … RHP Ryan Sherriff (left shoulder strain) made an appearance for the IronPigs Tuesday night, allowing one walk in 1 1/3 innings.


Braves: RHP Kyle Wright (12-4, 2.95 ERA) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series against visiting Arizona and LHP Madison Bumgarner (6-9, 3.71).

Phillies: RHP Zack Wheeler (8-5, 2.78) starts Thursday at Pittsburgh, which goes with RHP Zach Thompson (3-7, 4.64).

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today

ARLINGTON, Texas — Jacob deGrom is headed to the free-spending Texas Rangers, who believe the health risk is worth the potential reward in trying to end a six-year run of losing.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday, leaving the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened substantially by injuries.

“We acknowledge the risk, but we also acknowledge that in order to get great players, there is a risk and a cost associated with that,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said. “And one we feel like is worth taking with a player of Jacob’s caliber.”

Texas announced the signing after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

The Rangers were also big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing shortstop Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).

The team said deGrom will be introduced in a news conference at Globe Life Field next week following the winter meetings in San Diego.

“It fits in so many ways in terms of what we need,” Young said. “He’s a tremendous person. I have a number of close friends and teammates who played with Jacob and love him. I think he’s going to be just a perfect fit for our clubhouse and our fans.”

Texas had modest expectations after adding Seager, Semien and starter Jon Gray ($56 million, four years) last offseason but still fell short of them.

The Rangers went 68-94, firing manager Chris Woodward during the season, and then hired Bruce Bochy, a three-time World Series champion with San Francisco. Texas’ six straight losing seasons are its worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

Rangers owner Ray Davis said the club wouldn’t hesitate to keep adding payroll. Including the $19.65 million qualifying offer accepted by Martin Perez, the team’s best pitcher last season, the Rangers have spent nearly $761 million in free agency over the past year.

“I hate losing, but I think there’s one person in our organization who hates losing worse than me, and I think it’s Ray Davis,” Young said. “He’s tired of losing. I’m tired of losing. Our organization is tired of losing.”

After making his first start in early August last season, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then passed up a $30.5 million salary for 2023 and opted out of his contract to become a free agent for the first time.

That ended his deal with the Mets at $107 million over four years, and deGrom rejected their $19.65 million qualifying offer in November. New York will receive draft-pick compensation for losing him.

The fan favorite becomes the latest in a long line of ace pitchers to leave the Mets for one reason or another, including Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone.

The Rangers visit Citi Field from Aug. 28-30.

When healthy, deGrom is perhaps baseball’s most dominant pitcher. His 2.52 career ERA ranks third in the expansion era (since 1961) behind Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (2.48) and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (2.19) among those with at least 200 starts.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five career postseason starts, including a win over San Diego in the wild-card round this year that extended the Mets’ season. New York was eliminated the next night.

A four-time All-Star and the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom was a ninth-round draft pick by the Mets in 2010 out of Stetson, where he played shortstop before moving to the mound. He was slowed by Tommy John surgery early in his career and didn’t reach the majors until age 26.

Once he arrived, though, he blossomed. He helped the Mets reach the 2015 World Series and earn a 2016 playoff berth before winning consecutive NL Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019.

But injuries to his elbow, forearm and shoulder blade have limited him to 26 starts over the past two seasons. He compiled a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings in 2021, but did not pitch after July 7 that year because of arm trouble.

DeGrom is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 innings over nine big league seasons. He gets $30 million next year, $40 million in 2024 and 2025, $38 million in 2026 and $37 million in 2027. The deal includes a conditional option for 2028 with no guaranteed money.

The addition of deGrom gives the Rangers three proven starters along with Gray and Perez, who went 12-8 with a career-best 2.89 ERA in his return to the team that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela. Young didn’t rule out the addition of another starter.

With several holes on their starting staff, the Mets have shown interest in free agents Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon to pair with 38-year-old Max Scherzer atop the rotation.

Now, with deGrom gone, signing one of those two could become a much bigger priority.