Alfaro's 3 RBIs carry 1st-place Phillies past Orioles 5-4
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) Making the most of a one-day stopover in Baltimore, the Philadelphia Phillies won a game scheduled two months earlier and regained sole possession of first place in the NL East.
Jorge Alfaro homered and drove in three runs, Nick Pivetta took a three-hitter into the seventh inning and Philadelphia squeezed past the Orioles 5-4 Thursday night.
The game was the makeup of a May 15 rainout. Coming from New York before heading to Miami, the Phillies got 12 hits off Kevin Gausman (4-7) while building a 5-0 lead against the team with the worst record in the majors.
"There were some tired guys out there, but they grinded it out," manager Gabe Kapler said. "When you're tired, it's very difficult to bring your A game. I'm really proud of our men today."
Alfaro, the No. 9 hitter, singled and scored in the third inning, hit a two-run double in the fourth and led off the fifth with his sixth home run.
The day after that May 15 rainout, Pivetta allowed two hits and struck out 11 over seven innings in a 4-1 win at Baltimore.
This time, the 6-foot-5 righty had a no-hitter through four innings and finished with seven strikeouts. Pivetta (6-7) gave up three runs and five hits before being pulled with two outs in the seventh.
He got the win, so that made it worth missing a day in the Florida sun.
"It was tough," Pivetta said. "We were supposed to have an off day in Miami today. The guys got in late last night, so it was big for them to come here and win a baseball game."
Seranthony Rodriguez worked the ninth for his ninth save.
Gausman yielded a single to Cesar Hernandez to open the game, and the hits kept on coming for the Phillies. Gausman allowed a career-high 12 hits over five-plus innings, but manager Buck Showalter insisted the right-hander's performance was better than the numbers indicated.
"It's been a long time since I've seen that many poorly hit balls fall for hits," Showalter said. "I've got no fault with the way Kevin pitched tonight. He deserved a lot better fate."
The loss dropped the Orioles a whopping 42 games under .500 (26-68), but Showalter appreciated the comeback.
"The baseball gods, so to speak, were not being kind to Kevin and the team," the manager said. "Our guys said the heck with it and battled back and got within a run."
Baltimore used some slick fielding to avoid falling behind in the second inning. After Scott Kingery hit a two-out double, third baseman Tim Beckham dived over the foul line to snare a grounder by Aaron Altherr, scrambled to his feet and threw out the runner.
The Phillies arrived in Baltimore around 3 a.m. after losing to the Mets on Wednesday night. Then, it was on to Miami.
"It's part of being in the major leagues," Kapler said. "Who can manage those challenging road trips best."
Baltimore, on the other hand, merely added a game to a homestand that started Monday and ends Sunday.
"It fit well for us," Showalter said.
Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (neck spasms) is expected to resume throwing this week. "I feel confident that he'll make his in-rotation start after the (All-Star) break," Showalter said. ... RHP Darren O'Day underwent season-ending surgery on his left hamstring Thursday. "Everything went good. No surprises," Showalter said.
Kapler told Rhys Hoskins to do more than simply take his cuts when he makes his first appearance in the annual Home Run Derby contest on Monday night.
"The opportunity to listen," Kapler said. "For me, if I was putting myself in Rhys' shoes, just kind of hanging around the cage, listening to exceptional hitters, some of the best players in baseball, talk."
Phillies: Jake Arrieta (6-6, 3.47 ERA) opens against the Marlins on Friday. He picked up his first win since May 29 in his last outing against the Pirates.
Orioles: Alex Cobb (2-11, 6.67 ERA) starts the opener Friday against Texas. He allowed five runs and seven hits in his last start against the Twins before departing in the sixth inning with a blister on his right index finger.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Updated July 12, 2018