Phillies eager to build on clutch win, face D-backs again

MLB

Brad Miller was critical of his performance after Thursday’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

One night later, Miller’s two-run homer might have saved the Philadelphia Phillies’ season. Miller tied the game in the bottom of the 10th inning and Jean Segura provided an RBI single in the 11th for a 7-6 walk-off victory.

The Phillies, who moved back to .500, will now look for their second straight win when they host the Diamondbacks again on Saturday. The Phillies had dropped four in a row to the National League-worst Diamondbacks before Friday’s wild win.

“He had a chance, and he came up big,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said of Miller.

Miller will likely be playing more than usual with Rhys Hoskins out for the season with a tear in his abdomen.

“There’s still a lot of meat left on the bone,” Miller said. “For me, it starts in the cage. It starts in figuring some stuff out and being a lot more competitive. I just think if we have the desire, we’ll find a way.”

Bryce Harper homered for the 25th time and also doubled and knocked in two runs. But the Phillies scuffled and had to come from behind against the Diamondbacks to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

“There’s no quit in this team. We’re going to fight and fight and fight,” Girardi said. “Obviously, we need to start winning some games. I don’t think that’s any secret, but it’s frustrating what we’ve gone through after we played so well there and put ourselves in a pretty good position.

“We’ve kind of dug ourselves a hole. We’re going to keep fighting and you never know what can happen,” Girardi said.

The Phillies will send Kyle Gibson (9-5, 3.06 ERA) to the mound. Gibson is 1-2 with a 2.00 ERA in three starts in his career against the Diamondbacks.

Despite the close loss, Arizona might take solace in remaining competitive.

Ketel Marte, who had been nursing a sore right hip, ripped a two-run home run in the 10th inning to give the Diamondbacks a 6-4 lead.

Arizona had tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the ninth when Christian Walker blasted a two-run homer off Phillies closer Ian Kennedy.

This young group of Diamondbacks continues to scrap every single night in what can be classified as a lost season.

Manager Torey Lovullo detailed a plan to keep playing his young players while mixing in some veterans to provide leadership down the stretch.

“I think there’s a method to that,” Lovullo said. “I think rather than just totally jump the shark and flip it all in one day, I think there’s a gradual buildup, and that’s necessary for a young player to continue learning at the right pace. I think we’re ready to take it to the next level in a couple of different situations.”

Key young players such as Josh VanMeter and Drew Ellis are likely to receive a lot of at-bats as September inches closer.

“I like to insert them to make sure that there’s a lot of controlled at-bats or controlled plays on defense,” Lovullo said. “I think it’s a challenging balance, but I’m going to try to figure out the best balance to help us win baseball games.”

The Diamondbacks will start rookie right-hander Humberto Mejia (0-0, 3.60 ERA), who has made just one start in four appearances in his major league career. Mejia has never faced the Phillies.

–Field Level Media

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