For the Phillies to realistically have a shot at securing the NL East pennant and making a trip to the postseason they need Rhys Hoskins to be putting the ball in play and making solid contact.
Hoskins did exactly that on Friday night at Citi Field, hitting a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning to lift the Phillies to a much needed 4-3 win over the Mets.
The homer broke a 0-for-14 streak at the plate and came with two strikes off reliever Tyler Bashlor,
"It's a big win. We're getting down to the nitty-gritty here," Hoskins told NBCSports Philadelphia (see video). "It's time to win ball games.".
Phillies ace Aaron Nola retired 12 straight batters at one point, but fell victim to the long ball himself, surrendering two solo shots over seven innings. The homers accounted for two of the three hits he allowed on the evening. He also struck out eight and walked one.
Nola hasn't been prone to the long ball this year, but he's now surrendered five over his last two starts.
"I see it more as random than as anything to point to about something being wrong," manager Gabe Kapler told reporters afterward.
The win moved the Phillies to 2 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East race.
Carlos Santana hit a two-run shot in the third to give the Phillies a 2-1 advantage, but the lead was shortlived as the Mets manufactured a run in the third with Jeff McNeil driving home Brandon Nimmo with an RBI-double to right field. The Phillies again took the lead in the sixth with an Asdrubal Cabrera RBI-single scoring Odubel Herrera, but the Mets answered with Domonic Smith launching a solo shot to right to even the contest at 3-3.
The two clubs resume their three-game set on Saturday with righty Zach Eflin opposing righty Noah Syndergaard.
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BY PATRICK GORDON
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