Phillies Jump On Walker Buehler, Beat Dodgers In Rubber Match Of Potential NLDS Preview
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies got to Walker Buehler and capitalized against Scott Alexander, using a five-run fifth inning to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-3, in the rubber match at Citizens Bank Park.

Buehler returned from Triple-A Oklahoma City for his first start since July 13. He surrendered a solo home run to Rhys Hoskins in a 32-pitch first inning but shook off some of the early rust and retired 11 batters in a row.

That string was snapped by Scott Kingery’s line drive that just cleared the fence in right field for a one-out solo home run that broke a tie in the bottom of the fifth. Jesmuel Valentin followed with a single and he then scored on Ryan Knapp’s double.

Buehler was removed after intentionally walking Hoskins. Alexander walked the bases loaded and allowed a three-run triple to Carlos Santana before getting out of the inning.

The extra-base hit loomed large, as Max Muncy answered back with a two-run home run off Jake Arrieta in the sixth inning. Prior to that, the Dodgers’ only run had come in the first inning when Arrieta wasn’t sharp and was hurt by Knapp.

A leadoff single and walk were compounded because Knapp not only unnecessarily threw down to second base on ball four to Manny Machado, but his throw went into center field, allowing Joc Pederson to take third. He later scored on Matt Kemp’s sacrifice fly.

The three runs (two earned) were all Arrieta allowed over six innings. He finished with six strikeouts against two walks.

Caleb Ferguson struck out four over two scoreless innings but it ultimately was to no avail. The Dodgers did have the tying run at the plate with two outs in the eighth, but Alex Verdugo’s drive to center field was caught at the wall for a 397-foot out.

Although they did not need it, the Phillies then pushed across an insurance run against Pedro Baez in the bottom of the eighth.

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