Aaron Altherr’s 4 RBI Lead Phillies Past Dodgers In Back-And-Forth Affair
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In a reversal from the first two games of the series, it was the Philadelphia Phillies who scored first and blew a lead. However, unlike the Los Angeles Dodgers, they overcame a deficit to pull out a 7-5 win.

Chase Utley’s pinch-hit triple to lead off the seventh sparked a three-run inning. Andre Ethier was on deck to bat for Alex Wood, but was lifted once the Phillies countered by calling on left-handed relief pitcher Hoby Milner.

Kiké Hernandez replaced Ethier and pulled a game-tying double down the third-base line. Milner intentionally walked Justin Turner with two outs, in a decision that backfired.

Cody Bellinger swung through two elevated fastballs before connecting on a third for a go-ahead, two-run double.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Aaron Altherr hit a two-run homer off Ross Stripling in the bottom of the seventh. The home run was Altherr’s third in as many games against the Dodgers. Tommy Joseph’s solo home run put the Phillies back ahead.

The Dodgers answered back in the eighth, taking advantage of Austin Barnes’ leadoff walk. He advanced to second base on a pitch that kicked out in front of the plate, then advanced to third on a passed ball.

Playing at the edge of the grass, Joseph made a diving stop on Utley’s chopper but threw high to home plate. Seager had an opportunity to put the Dodgers ahead but grounded out to strand two runners.

Luis Avilan entered in the bottom of the eighth and promptly got himself in a jam. After issuing a leadoff walk, Avilan fielded a sacrifice bunt attempt and threw the ball into center field. His error left runners at second and third base with nobody out.

Avilan intentionally walked Rhys Hoskins to load the bases with one out. Brandon Morrow inherited the jam and gave up a two-run, go-ahead double to Altherr that proved the difference for the Phillies.

The loss offset an encouraging outing by Wood. He retired the first four batters faced and was only hurt by allowing back-to-back two-out hits in the second inning. Joseph’s RBI double broke a scoreless tie, and Andrew Knapp’s run-scoring single extended the Phillies’ lead to 2-0.

Wood proceeded to retire 13 batters in a row to get through six innings and keep the Dodgers in the game. He recorded four strikeouts and induced eight groundouts during that stretch, which has been a recipe for success for the southpaw.

The offense twice put two runners on against Jake Thompson during his five innings of work. The first instance came in the second inning, when Bellinger led off with a walk and Yasiel Puig lined a single to right field.

Bellinger slipped rounding second base, which prevented him from advancing another 90 feet. The misfortune proved costly. Austin Barnes, Curtis Granderson and Logan Forsythe each drove the ball to deep left field for three consecutive outs.

Wood and Chris Taylor drew consecutive walks with one out in the fifth inning, only to be stranded by Corey Seager and Justin Turner. The Dodgers’ lone run off Thompson came via Taylor’s opposite-field home run in the third.

The loss stripped the Dodgers of any possibility of celebrating a fifth consecutive National League West title inside the visitors clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night. Their result rendered the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres a moot point.

Though, should the Padres complete a three-game sweep, the Dodgers would be in position to clinch Thursday afternoon.