Phillies hit 4 homers in 13-1 win, finish sweep of Nationals

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

PHILADELPHIA – Darick Hall hit two home runs and Nick Maton and Rhys Hoskins each hit two-run homers to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a four-game sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 13-1 win on Sunday.

Maton drove in four runs, Bryson Stott had three RBIs and the Phillies scored five runs in the fourth and eighth innings.

Aaron Nola (8-8) struck out five and allowed one run in six innings to put the Phillies (60-48) 12 games over .500 for the first time since August 2018.

The Phillies failed to make the playoffs that season, part of a postseason drought that has lasted since 2011. But on a day when the Phillies honored the 1980 World Series champions, this year’s homer-happy team showed that perhaps the longest playoff absence in the National League might finally end.

Hall hit a pair of solo homers against Washington starter Cory Abbott (0-1) to play his part in the long-ball barrage against the Nationals. Hoskins homered all in four games.

The Phillies hit 14 homers in the four games, their most in any single series in franchise history. The previous record was set last season with 13 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The Phillies brought back a large portion of the roster from the 1980 champs, including disgraced Pete Rose.

Rose popped his head out of the stairwell near the visitor’s dugout and instantly heard screams of “Pete! Pete!” Rose turned and waved and pointed at fans as they snapped photos of baseball’s hit king. Rose received some light boos as he waited in line behind his former teammates but that turned into a rousing standing ovation from about 28,000 fans when he was introduced by public address announcer Dan Baker.

Rose returned to a Philadelphia baseball field for the first time since receiving a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball in 1989. The Phillies had planned to induct Rose into their Wall of Fame in 2017 until those plans were scrapped because of a woman’s claim she had a sexual relationship with him when she was a minor.

Rose called a female reporter who asked him about the accusations “babe” and turned prickly later when pressed on them.

“I’m going to tell you one more time: I’m here for the Philly fans, I’m here for my teammates, OK,” Rose said. “I’m here for the Philly organization and who cares what happened 50 years ago. ”

Rose then went on the TV broadcast and cursed and used crude terms when talking about fellow announcer former Phillies first baseman John Kruk, a testicular cancer survivor.

Rose’s appearance at Citizens Bank Park overshadowed what should have been a true celebration. Yes, for the 1980 champs, but also for this year’s team and a sweep that has them positioned down the stretch for a serious run at an NL wild-card berth. The Phillies can pad their record with a three-game set this week against the Marlins.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals claimed OF Alex Call off waivers from Cleveland and optioned him to Triple-A Rochester. Call, 27, made his major league debut for the Guardians this season, playing in 12 games. Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 3rd round of 2016 from Ball State, Call is a career .252 hitter with 111 doubles, 12 triples, 52 home runs and 253 RBIs in six minor league seasons. Recalled RHP Mason Thompson from Triple-A Rochester and optioned RHP Jordan Weems to Triple-A Rochester.

UP NEXT

The Nationals send RHP Anibal Sanchez (0-4, 7.65 ERA) to the mound Monday for the start of a three-game series in Chicago against Cubs RHP Keegan Thompson (8-5, 3.48).

The Phillies are off Monday. They send Zack Wheeler (10-5, 2.69 ERA) to the mound Tuesday for the start of a three-game home series against the Marlins and LHP Braxton Garrett (2-5, 3.88).

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

aaron judge
Cole Burston/Getty Images
3 Comments

TORONTO — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive for the New York Yankees in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre. The 117.4 mph drive took just 3.8 seconds to land 394 feet from the plate, and it put the Yankees ahead 5-3.

Judge watched the ball clank off the front of the stands, just below two fans who reached over a railing and tried for a catch. He pumped an arm just before reaching first and exchanged a slap with coach Travis Chapman.

The ball dropped into Toronto’s bullpen and was picked up by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, who turned it over to the Yankees.

Judge’s mother and Roger Maris Jr. rose and hugged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base, then was congratulated by the entire Yankees team, who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate.

Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those huge numbers playing for the Yankees.

Barry Bonds holds the big league record of 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001.

Judge had gone seven games without a home run – his longest drought this season was nine in mid-August. This was the Yankees’ 155th game of the season, leaving them seven more in the regular season.

The home run came in the fourth plate appearance of the night for Judge, ending a streak of 34 plate appearances without a home run.

Judge is hitting .313 with 130 RBIs, also the top totals in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1961, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.

Maris’ mark has been exceeded six times, but all have been tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year, and Bonds topped him. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris the holder of the “clean” record.

Among the tallest batters in major league history, the 6-foot-7 Judge burst on the scene on Aug. 13, 2016, homering off the railing above Yankee Stadium’s center-field sports bar and into the netting above Monument Park. He followed Tyler Austin to the plate and they become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.

Judge hit 52 homers with 114 RBIs the following year and was a unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Injuries limited him during the following three seasons, and he rebounded to hit 39 homers with 98 RBIs in 2021.

As he approached his last season before free agent eligibility, Judge on opening day turned down the Yankees’ offer of an eight-year contract worth from $230.5 million to $234.5 million. The proposal included an average of $30.5 million annually from 2023-29, with his salary this year to be either the $17 million offered by the team in arbitration or the $21 million requested by the player.

An agreement was reached in June on a $19 million, one-year deal, and Judge heads into this offseason likely to get a contract from the Yankees or another team for $300 million or more, perhaps topping $400 million.

Judge hit six homers in April, 12 in May and 11 in June. He earned his fourth All-Star selection and entered the break with 33 homers. He had 13 homers in July and dropped to nine in August, when injuries left him less protected in the batting order and pitchers walked him 25 times.

He became just the fifth player to hold a share of the AL season record. Nap Lajoie hit 14 in the AL’s first season as a major league in 1901, and Philadelphia Athletics teammate Socks Seabold had 16 the next year, a mark that stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. Ruth set the record four times in all, with 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921 and 60 in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris’ 61 in 1961.

Maris was at 35 in July 1961 during the first season each team’s schedule increased from 154 games to 162, and baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled if anyone topped Ruth in more than 154 games “there would have to be some distinctive mark in the record books to show that Babe Ruth’s record was set under a 154-game schedule.”

That “distinctive mark” became known as an “asterisk” and it remained until Sept. 4, 1991, when a committee on statistical accuracy chaired by Commissioner Fay Vincent voted unanimously to recognize Maris as the record holder.