Chapman, Bradley go deep, Blue Jays outslug Phillies 18-11

Toronto Blue Jays v Philadelphia Phillies
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PHILADELPHIA – Toronto interim manager John Schneider walked out of the clubhouse after his team scored in all but one inning and – this was almost as big as its 10 extra-base hits – had fans inside Philadelphia’s ballpark chanting “Let’s go, Blue Jays!” and simply deadpanned: “Pitchers’ duel.”

Not quite.

Matt Chapman hit a three-run homer in the first inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. added a three-run shot in the ninth and the Blue Jays used 21 hits to rough up the Phillies 18-11 on Tuesday night in a matchup of teams headed in opposite directions as they play for wild-card berths.

The Blue Jays are in better shape, not only as winners of five of seven games, but with a firm grip on the top wild-card spot in the American League. The Phillies, who suffered a three-game weekend sweep at Atlanta, lost their fifth straight game.

Philadelphia kept a 2 1/2-game lead (plus the tiebreaker) over the Milwaukee Brewers for the final National League wild-card spot. The Mets beat the Brewers 7-5.

Kyle Schwarber hit his NL-best 40th homer of the season for the Phillies in the eighth, a three-run shot that made it 14-10. He became the first Phillies slugger to hit 40 since Ryan Howard did it from 2006-2009.

J.T. Realmuto hit his 20th homer and went 5 for 5 for the Phillies, driving in two runs and scoring twice.

Raimel Tapia and Danney Jansen each had three RBIs for the Blue Jays. Toronto scored in every inning but the fourth. Jansen, though, struck out against backup catcher-turned-reliever Garrett Stubbs in the ninth to chants of “Stubbs! Stubbs! Stubbs!”

The Phillies have 15 games left, including five more on this final homestand of the season. Toronto has 14 more to go and just opened a six-game road trip.

“You go through lulls in the season and this isn’t the greatest spot to go in, right?” 2021 NL MVP Bryce Harper said. “We lost but I think it’s a stepping stone into tomorrow and hopefully the offense can show up, defense can show up and pitching, as well. We’re going to need that down the stretch and into the postseason.”

Harper stuck an optimistic tone with his postseason talk. But they’re not going to get there – or last long if they do – with the way they played against the Blue Jays; the crucial mistakes in the middle innings, first when Harper was doubled up to end a rally in the fifth and then shortstop Bryson Stott‘s two-base error in the sixth that led to an unearned run.

Trailing 7-1 in the fifth, the Phillies broke though against Toronto starter Ross Stripling. Dalton Guthrie made it 7-2 on a solo shot for his first big league homer. Rhys Hoskins had a run-scoring double and Harper and Realmuto added consecutive RBI singles that made it 7-5.

Blue Jays reliever Zach Pop (3-0) helped them escape the inning when he retired Stott on a flyout to center and George Springer caught Harper at second to end the threat.

“We just have to get back to winning and if we keep playing the way we’re playing, we’re going to do that,” Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said.

Stripling gave up nine hits and five runs in of four-plus innings, ending a streak of 16 straight starts of allowing three or less earned runs, one shy of tying the franchise mark.

“It wasn’t a good day to be a pitcher on either team, for sure,” Stripling said. “But we kind of showed our strength today which is the ability to pour it on at times. We really showed that off today.”

Kyle Gibson (10-7) couldn’t get it done and was left in to get battered around for seven runs and 12 hits over five innings. His trouble started early when Chapman’s 27th homer on a drive into the left field seats made it 3-0 in the first inning. The Blue Jays scored two in the second and tacked on single runs in the third and sixth to get the run-scoring rolling.

“You kind of knew it was one of those nights around the third or fourth inning,” Schneider said.

The Blue Jays fell shy of the 29 hits and 28 runs they scored against the Red Sox in July.

BATTER UP

The Blue Jays hit five leadoff doubles and seven overall. Toscar Hernandez had four hits and set a career high with 30 doubles. Vlad Guerrero Jr. extended his hitting streak to 13 games (.316 over that span).

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies CF Brandon Marsh left after the third inning with a left knee contusion after running into a wall trying to make a catch. Phillies OF Nick Castellanos could begin a rehab assignment this week as part of his return from a strained oblique. Castellanos has only 13 home runs and 61 RBIs in the first season of a $100 million, five-year contract.

UP NEXT

The Phillies send RHP Zack Wheeler (11-7, 3.07 ERA) to the mound against RHP Kevin Gausman (12-10, 3.45). Wheeler, the 2021 NL Cy Young Award runner-up, will make his first start since Aug. 20. He missed with five starts with right forearm tendinitis.

Pujols has 2 more RBIs, Cardinals beat Pirates 8-7 in 10

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals
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PITTSBURGH – Albert Pujols drove in two more runs and the St. Louis Cardinals went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 in 10 innings Tuesday night.

Pujols hit a two-run single in the third inning to push his career total to 2,218 RBIs. That came a night after he broke a tie with Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,287.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol then removed the 42-year-old Pujols at the end of the inning. St. Louis opens postseason play Friday when it hosts a best-of-three National League wild-card series.

Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals the win when he hit a tiebreaking single with one in the 10th inning off Chase De Jong (6-3) to score automatic runner Ben Deluzio.

“Tonight was interesting because you’re fairly scripted in who you want to use and who you don’t want to use and what you want tomorrow to look like so you can get ready for Friday,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It was a good one to still figure out a way to come out on top.”

The Cardinals threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom of the 10th when automatic runner Kevin Newman tried to score from second base on Oneil Cruz‘s line single off the glove of first baseman Alec Burleson. The ball deflected to second baseman Brendon Donovan, who threw home to catcher Andrew Knizner.

The Pirates challenged the call, but it was upheld on video review.

“I thought we were going to get it overturned,” Newman said. “I just thought he didn’t tag me until he got higher up on the body.”

It was the Pirates’ 100th loss, the second year in a row they have reached that mark.

The Cardinals got two hits each from Donovan, Corey Dickerson, Knizner and Paul DeJong.

Cruz had three hits for the Pirates and Bryan Reynolds, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Ji-Hwan Bae added two apiece. Miguel Andujar drove in two runs.

Chris Stratton (10-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

“They weren’t the prettiest two innings I’ve ever pitched but I got a great play from the defense in the 10th inning to help me out,” Stratton said. “It was a good play all the way around.’

Pujols’ hit put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 but the Pirates answered with six runs in the bottom of the third. Andujar’s run-scoring double highlighted an inning that includes RBI singles by Castro, Suwinski, Ben Gamel and Bae.

The Cardinals then scored four runs in the seventh inning to tie the score at 7-all. Donovan hit an RBI single, Dickerson drove in two runs with a double and the tying run scored on a throwing error by Cruz, the rookie shortstop.

Both starting pitchers lasted just 2 2/3 innings. The Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson was rocked for seven runs and nine hits while the Pirates’ JT Brubaker allowed three runs on four hits.

Brubaker was activated from the injured list before the game. He had been out since Sept. 16 with right lat discomfort.

HELSLEY HURT

Reliever Ryan Helsley, the Cardinals’ closer, left in the eighth inning with a jammed right middle finger. Helsley was injured after catching a line drive by Bae and using his hands to brace himself while dodging a piece of a broken bat.

Helsley said he expects to be ready to pitch Friday.

“I don’t think there was anything super wrong with it,” Helsley said. `Just give it some rest and let it resolve itself.”

ROSTER MOVES

The Pirates optioned right-hander Roansy Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear a roster spot for Brubaker. They also recalled infielder/outfielder Tucapita Marcano from Indianapolis and optioned catcher Jose Godoy to the same club.

PIRATES AWARDS

Center fielder Bryan Reynolds was voted the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, emblematic of the Pirates’ MVP, by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Mitch Keller won the Steve Blass Award for best pitcher. Former infielder Michael Chavis was voted the Chuck Tanner Good Guy Award.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Tyler O'Neill (strained right hamstring) has been ruled out for the wild-card series but St. Louis is hopeful he can play in the NLDS round if it advances. . 3B Nolan Arenado (left quadriceps tightness) missed his second straight game but could play Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Have not decided on a starter for Wednesday, though Marmol said LHP Matthew Liberatore (2-1, 5.46) and RHP Jake Woodford (4-0, 2.33) are possibilities.

Pirates: RHP Johan Oviedo (4-3, 3.12), who was acquired from the Cardinals on Aug. 1, gets the start.