Chase Utley

Dodgers' Bullpen Implodes Again as Phillies Win Third Straight, 7-5

Aaron Alther knocked in four runs and the Philadelphia Phillies continued to send shockwaves through the baseball world as they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-5, for their third straight win on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Momma, there goes that man. 

Aaron Alther knocked in four runs and the Philadelphia Phillies continued to send shockwaves through the baseball world as they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-5, for their third straight win on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Entering the four-game series, the Phillies had the worst record in baseball and the Dodgers had the best record in baseball, but you couldn't tell on the field as Altherr and the Phillies have beat up on the Boys in Blue all week long.

After the Dodgers scored two early runs on Monday and Tuesday, it was the Phillies who jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to back-to-back RBI hits from Tommy Joseph and Andrew Knapp in the second inning.

"I got two strikes on Joseph put threw a bad breaking ball," said starting pitcher Alex Wood of the two early runs allowed. "If I execute I probably get him out. Those were the only two bad ones I threw."

Chris Taylor cut the lead in half when he hit an opposite field home run in the top of the third inning for his 21st long ball of the season.

The game remained tight until the top of the seventh when the Dodgers rallied to take the lead.

Chase Utley continued his homecoming in Philadelphia with a leadoff triple, and scored a few pitches later on a pinch-hit RBI double from Enrique Hernandez.

Four batters later, rookie Cody Bellinger belted a two-run double down the right field line that put the Dodgers in front, 4-2.

The lead would not last long as less than 24 hours after Pedro Baez allowed four runs in the seventh inning to cough up the lead, it was reliever Ross Stripling's turn to implode out of the Dodgers bullpen.

After a leadoff walk to Rhys Hoskins, Altherr hit a game-tying two-run home run off Stripling.

"Obviously, the leadoff walks got us," said Dave Roberts following the loss. "I felt good with Ross [Stripling] coming in, but to come in and walk the first hitter and then hang a breaking ball, it's a new ballgame." 

Altherr has homered in three consecutive games against the Dodgers including a grand slam off Clayton Kershaw on Monday.

One batter later, Tommy Joseph hit the go-ahead homer off Stripling as the Phillies went back-to-back to take a 5-4 lead.

The Dodgers did not give up as Austin Barnes led off the top of the eighth inning with a walk, stole second, and then advanced to third on a passed ball.

Utley brought Barnes home with a fielder's choice groundball to first base that tied the game at 5-5.

However, the Dodgers continued to be haunted by their bullpen and Altherr as Luis Avilan allowed a leadoff walk to Cesar Hernandez, and then put runners on second and third after he threw the ball into center field on a groundball back to the mound.

"We've done it all year," said Roberts about putting Luis Avilan in the game to face that part of the Philadelphia lineup. "That's a part of the order that he matches up well with, but to walk the leadoff guy to start, and then field it and make a bad throw to the shortstop, unfortunately they capitalized on it."

After an intentional walk to Hoksins loaded the bases, Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts brought in setup man Brandon Morrow to face Altherr.

The move backfired as once again Altherr made the Dodgers pay, this time with a two-run single off the right field wall that put the Phillies in front for good, 7-5. 

Altherr went 3-for-4 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored.

Both starting pitchers did not factor in the decision as Alex Wood pitched well, allowing just two runs on three hits with no walks and six strikeouts in six strong innings.

"I thought tonight my command was the best it's been," added Wood following the game. "I'll build off these starts and I'll keep going from there."

Entering the game, Wood was 3-3 with a 3.40 ERA in 13 games against the Phillies in his career.

Philadelphia starter, Jake Thompson also did not factor in the decision, surrendering just one run on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts in five innings of work.

Phillies' closer Hector Neris picked up his 23rd save of the season in his third consecutive appearance against the Dodgers.

Los Angeles has lost 20 of their last 25 games and have lost their first series at Citizen's Bank Park since 2011.

Overall, the Dodgers had won six straight series against the Phillies, a streak that was snapped by the loss on Wednesday night.

The Dodgers Magic Number to clinch their fifth consecutive National League West Division title remains at two games, but could drop to a single game if the San Diego Padres defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Up Next:

Kenta Maeda will take the mound for the Dodgers on getaway day against RHP Mark Leiter Jr. for Philadelphia. First pitch will be at 10:05 AM PST and the team will fly back to Los Angeles after the game.

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