The Philadelphia Phillies never had to return for the bottom of the fifth inning on Thursday.
They were ahead 5-4 in an official game before the rain and lightning began. After a two-plus-hour delay, the game became final and the Phillies were fortunate to capture the opener of a four-game series over the Washington Nationals.
Instead of playing into the wee hours of Friday morning, the Phillies were awarded a victory, and now they will look for another win when they host the Nationals again on Friday.
Philadelphia has won two in a row and seven of its past eight games.
“We knew it was imminent,” Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said of the bad weather that was in the forecast before the game started. “Thank God we got through it.”
Alec Bohm stayed red hot with a three-run home run, and Rhys Hoskins added a solo homer, an RBI single and two runs.
Philadelphia’s Jean Segura made his long-awaited return from a broken right index finger and played for the first time since May 31, going 0-for-2. Earlier in the day, the Phillies released Didi Gregorius.
The move signified that Bryson Stott will be the everyday shortstop moving forward.
“Didi was really kind of the odd man out,” Thomson said. “That doesn’t mean he’s a bad player, because he’s played very well at shortstop for us. He just didn’t hit the way that he normally hits.”
The Phillies will hand the ball on Friday to Kyle Gibson (6-4, 4.60 ERA), who missed one start while on the bereavement list. In Gibson’s previous outing against the Atlanta Braves, he allowed four hits and two runs in six innings in a July 27 win.
In two career starts against the Nationals, Gibson has struggled mightily with an 0-2 record and a hefty 14.09 ERA. In 7 2/3 combined innings, Gibson has given up 15 hits and 13 runs, 12 earned.
Not much has gone right for the Nationals this season. They enter Friday’s game at 36-71, the worst mark in the majors. They are 9-39 against the National League East.
Without Juan Soto and Josh Bell, who now play for the San Diego Padres following a massive deal before the trade deadline, the Nationals clearly don’t have the same roster.
However, Luke Voit provided a spark with two hits, a run and an RBI in the Thursday loss. Voit was the first player to be added to the active roster since the trade.
“Obviously, it was fun being in that playoff rush with San Diego,” Voit said. “I know we’re out of it already here. But obviously, we’ve got 60-ish games left, so you’ve got to make the most of it. I’m excited to learn a lot about these new teammates, coaches. I’m going to go out there and be a blue-collar guy, work my butt off and try to get as many wins as we can for this team.”
Josiah Gray (7-7, 4.59 ERA) is scheduled to start on Friday for the Nationals. Gray allowed five hits and four runs in five innings in his last start, a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.
Gray is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies.
“It’s a matter of continuing to work ahead,” Gray said after his last outing. “Being competitive in the zone. I wasn’t as sharp as I could be tonight, unfortunately, so the pitch count got up there early on. Some things to work on.”
Washington designated hitter Nelson Cruz (neck) remained out of the lineup on Thursday for the second straight day. It was unclear if Cruz would be ready to play on Friday.
–Field Level Media