Craig Kimbrell and Jose Alvarado hang on for the tense win — NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies lead by seven runs at one point Monday night. It was certainly not the case by the end of the match with tense run after tense bull riding run that worked his way in and out of the jams from the sixth on.

Rob Thompson went to Craig Kimbrel in the eighth inning with the Phillies going up two runs and a massive San Diego lead in the standings. At that point, this was the real rescue situation. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto walked one and stole their way to second and third. Kimbrill hit Mane Machado (0-for-13 for life) and caused a 3-1 Bogaerts end of the inning. The Phillies were helped a bit by the baseball gods when the ball hit the third base umpire on double steal. If it doesn’t, it may have hit the wall and restricted the game.

Jose Alvarado’s ninth goal was equally exhausting, but he also stranded a pair of runners to wrap up the win at 9-7, as he hit Ha-Sung Kim’s swing after a late count.

The Phillies breathed a sigh of relief two hours after the game appeared to be within reach. They are 76-61 with 25 games remaining, leading the Cubs by 2½ for first place in the National League. The other four teams in the mix—the Diamondbacks, Reds, Giants, and Marlins—all trail the Phils by at least 5 games.

One-nine, it was an early offensive drive by the Phillies. They chased down 43-year-old lefty Rich Hill after four runs, reaching base nine times against him with seven hits, including two doubles and two home runs. By the fourth inning, all of Philly’s reached base and six different players scored.

Alec Baum swept the bases with a double in the top of the first. Edmundo Sosa and Trea Turner came back in second to get three more finishes. Christian Bacci and Sosa got additional base hits to produce two more runs in the third.

Turner crushes everything he sees. He has the longest hitting streak in the major leagues at 15 games and has homered seven of his last seven starts. He hit . 262 on the season with a . 761 OPS that is now aligned with Nick Castellanos, Bohm, Bryson Stott, and JT Realmuto. After all, in the first four months, Turner will likely end up with better-than-league average numbers.

Schwarber hit his 40th homer and walked three more. He has 109 walks on the season, 23 more than his previous career high. 342 on-base percentage is the third best of his career in a full season despite a . 193 batting average.

Stott had a rebounding game after going three straight games without reaching base for the first time in 2023. He went 4-for-5 and returned to .

Taiguan Walker started and, again, wasn’t sharp. He was credited with the win to improve to 15-5 with a 4.15 ERA, but gave up four runs in five innings pitched on 103 pitches. He has gone four straight games without completing six innings. He’s walked 13 batters in his last 20 innings, which is quite a lot for such a high-contact pitcher. The Phillies are hoping they can turn it around to provide a clear answer about who starts Game 3 of the playoff series. That question remains with four possible answers in Walker, Ranger Suarez, Michael Lorenzen and Christopher Sanchez.

Gregory Soto, who was five games short of his career high, gave up two runs in a shaky seventh inning. The Phillies have shown cracks lately but have also held games like Sunday’s game and Monday’s. Alvarado wasn’t quite as good as he was before two bouts of elbow inflammation, though he rebounded from the loss in Milwaukee on Friday night by scoreless innings in consecutive games.

There’s reason to wonder if all innings will catch up with these relievers in September, but the Phillies game remains one of the meanest units in baseball. Jeff Hoffman was huge catching the last two of the seventh set to clean up Soto’s mess. What would the Phillies’ 2023 record be without Hoffman, who has a 2.49 ERA in 43 appearances in a variety of influence roles?

Lorenzen is on the mound on Tuesday night at 9:40 ET, looking to deliver quality twice in a row. The Padres will compete with right-hander Pedro Avila, a tall man who tends to play four innings per appearance.

(tags for translation) Phillies Toy Story

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