BOSTON (AP)Ronald Torreyes hit a three-run homer, Philadelphia used six pitchers after losing its scheduled starter to COVID-19 contact tracing, and the Phillies hung on to beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Sunday.
The Phillies took the last two of the three-game series at Boston and enter the All-Star break at 44-44 – Philadelphia’s first time at .500 since being 34-34 in late June.
”This is a resilient group. We’ve probably had as many tough losses as any team in baseball and we have found a way,” manager Joe Girardi said. ”Two weeks ago we were kind of in a nightmarish week. The last 10 days, we’ve played extremely well. We’ve beat some good teams, taken some series from good teams. We’ve had a winning road trip – extremely proud.”
Torreyes had three of Philadelphia’s six hits and J.T. Realmuto had an RBI single in the third.
Philadelphia had to scratch starter Aaron Nola and place the right-hander and three teammates on COVID-19-related injured reserve on Sunday. Brandon Kintzler started the group effort with one-plus inning, Cristopher Sanchez (1-0) got the win after taking over in the second, and Ranger Suarez finished it, striking out two in the ninth to earn his second save after 2 1-3 scoreless innings.
”We felt like if we could get Kintzler and Sanchez through at least three we’d be OK,” Girardi said. ”I give Sanchez a ton of credit because he threw a light side yesterday. I don’t think he was supposed to pitch until Monday. To get as many outs as he did was huge for us.”
The Red Sox lost their second straight at Fenway Park, where they had a nine-game winning streak before Philadelphia’s 11-2 rout on Saturday night.
Boston enters the All-Star break leading the AL East at 55-36.
”We’re in first place in the East. Nobody can take that away from us,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. ”I’m a little disappointed that we lost the last two series, but good teams get disappointed when that happens. We expect better than this.”
Xander Bogaerts homered for Boston, which outhit Philadelphia 11-6 but could not overcome a 5-1 deficit after Torreyes’ homer in the fourth. Boston was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base.
”It was the bullpen overall. They all did a great job. Each guy that came into the game, kept the game close,” Torreyes said through a translator.
Philadelphia scored five runs, four earned, off Nick Pivetta (7-4), who worked four innings against the team that traded him to Boston last summer.
”I have a lot of respect for those guys over there. It’s exciting to compete against them. I came up with quite a few of those guys. I think that’s the biggest thing,” Pivetta said.
Rhys Hoskins had a two-out double in the fourth and Brad Miller walked to set up Torreyes, who belted Pivetta’s 3-2 fastball into the top row of seats above the Green Monster.
”It felt very good. It’s always good to put the team ahead,” Torreyes said.
Torreyes also singled in the third and scored on Realmuto’s two-out single, which led to another run on a throwing error by right fielder Hunter Renfroe.
Pivetta pitched four innings, allowing five runs – four earned – on four hits. He walked two and struck out four.
The Red Sox scored twice in the sixth on Bobby Dalbec’s RBI single and Christian Arroyo’s run-scoring double, but were blanked after that.
Forced into the role of an opener, Kintzler threw one pitch in the second, and Bogaerts drove it out of Fenway for his 15th homer. The Phillies went to the bullpen for Sanchez, who lasted until Arroyo led off the fifth with a double off the wall in right-center.
”It’s wasn’t like it was sprung on us at 9 o’clock this morning. We pretty much knew yesterday after the game that this was the likely scenario, so you’ve got to deal with it,” Girardi said.
SOLID IN CENTER
Kike Hernandez made a diving grab on a fly ball that was sinking quickly in center field in the fifth. Segura gambled that the ball would drop and ran from first all the way to third before Hernandez got up and threw to first to complete the double play.
Hernandez made another diving catch in the sixth on a sinking liner by Andrew McCutchen.
Brad Miller was ejected in the ninth after arguing a called third strike from Brandon Workman. Torreyes restrained Miller until Girardi took over as Miller shouted and pointed at umpire Jansen Visconti.
Phillies: Nola was placed on the COVID-19 list because of contact tracing after 3B Alec Bohm tested positive. RHP Connor Brogdon and LHP Bailey Falter were placed on the list because of contact tracing.
Red Sox: 1B Marwin Gonzalez left the game after two innings because of tightness in his right hamstring. Dalbec replaced him.
Phillies: Host the Miami Marlins for a doubleheader on Friday to open a four-game series including the makeup of a game rained out on July 1.
Red Sox: Return from the All-Star break Thursday and open a four-game series at the New York Yankees.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports