Los Angeles

Dodgers Hold on to Defeat Phillies as Philadelphia Says Goodbye to Chase Utley

Both teams combined to hit eight homers as the Los Angeles Dodgers held on to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-6, in a back-and-forth battle that marked the final games that Chase Utley will play at Citizens Bank Park.

You heard the man.

Both teams combined to hit eight homers as the Los Angeles Dodgers held on to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-6, in a back-and-forth battle that marked the final games that Chase Utley will play at Citizens Bank Park.

Following a blowout victory over the Brewers in the series finale on Sunday, the Dodgers extended their lead in the National League West to 1.5 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Los Angeles attempted to carry over that momentum into Monday as they went toe-to-toe with the first place Philadelphia Phillies in the N.L. East.

L.A. said, "let's go," in the top of the first inning as Max Muncy and Yasmani Grandal got the heavyweight fight started with back-to-back home runs to begin the game.

"Knowing my strengths and knowing their weaknesses and knowing if they make a mistake to make them pay," Grandal said of his recent resurgence at the plate. 

The second inning started similarly to the first as Chris Taylor crushed a 94MPH fastball from Zach Eflin to opposite field for his 12th home run of the season and the Dodgers led, 3-0.

Maikel Franco put Philadelphia on the board in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot of his own to left-center off Ross Stripling.

Eflin did not escape the third inning, and did not factor in the decision, allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout in just two and 2/3 innings.

Joc Pederson added an extra insurance run with a laser beam home run off Yacksel Rios in the top of the fourth inning. The longball was the Dodgers fourth solo shot of the game as L.A. led, 4-1.

Rhys Hoskins tied the game on one swing in the bottom of the fifth.

After a single to Jorge Alfaro and a double to Jesmuel Valentin put runners on second and third with two outs, Stripling served up an 81MPH curveball to Hoskins that tied the game at four apiece.

"The curveball was good tonight, but he made a mistake to Hoskins and it was a good pitch, but he put a good swing on it," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of Stripling's pitch to Hoskins. "But he wasn't executing like he normally does."

Five pitches later, Herrera put the Phillies in front with a go-ahead home run to straightaway center that chased Stripling from the game.

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Stripling also did not factor in the decision, surrendering five runs on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts in four and 2/3 innings. He also increased his ERA to 2.43 on the season.

"He didn't quite have it today," said Stripling's catcher Yasmani Grandal. "I know he was battling through a couple mechanical issues, but he was still able to give us five strong. It sucks he gave up a couple homers there, but he was just one pitch away."

The Dodgers tied the game in the top of the seventh on a run manufactured by their newest superstar:

Manny Machado hit a one-out triple, and scored one play later on a sacrifice fly from Muncy.

The Dodgers took the lead in the top of the ninth after Seranthony Domínguez loaded the bases before delivering a wild pitch that scored Alex Verdugo from third.

"He threw the ball away and we were able to get a run and Kemp came up with a big hit," said Grandal who was at the plate during the wild pitch. "That was huge."

After a pitching change, Matt Kemp followed with an RBI single to add an insurance run before the rally ended on a bases loaded double play.

"That was a good game, man" said Kemp. "Back and forth. They came back with a big inning and we just rode it out and ended up with the win on the good side."

Kenley Jansen entered in the bottom of the ninth with a two-run lead, but quickly gave half of it back as he relinquished a leadoff homer to Franco, his second of the game. 

Thankfully, Jansen settled in, and struck out the final two batters of the game for his 29th save of the season.

"We can give up one, but we have to make sure we don't give up two," said Grandal of the home run. "At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how many runs they get as long as we still get the save and we did that."

Farewell to the Man:

Former Phillies legend Chase Utley received a nearly two-minute standing ovation before his first plate appearance of the game.

Utley announced before the All-Star Break that he would retire at the end of the season, and was greeted overwhelmingly by the Philadelphia faithful in his final series at Citizens Bank Park.

"It was intense, a little emotional, especially that first at-bat," said Utley of the ovation he received. "I don't know why it was so nerve-racking, during that first at bat, but it really is...The fans here in Philadelphia mean a lot to me, and the respect that they've showed me over that last three years is very, very special."

Century Mark:

With the victory, the Dodgers have now played 100 games this season and have gone from worst-to-first in their wild rollercoaster ride through that span.

After falling 10 games below .500 in May, the Dodgers now have the best record in the National League.

Up Next:

Kenta Maeda heads the mound in the second game of the series against All-Star Aaron Nola for the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05PM PST.  

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All quotes courtesy of Spectrum SportsNetLA.

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