Kingery’s 3-run homer lifts Phillies over D’Backs 7-4
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Scott Kingery’s utility role has turned into a starting job, thanks to his hitting.
Kingery hit a three-run homer, Jake Arrieta threw six effective innings and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped Arizona’s five-game winning streak with a 7-4 victory over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
Kingery gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the second inning with a drive to left, his seventh homer and third in two games. He had eight homers as a rookie last year when he started at five positions and played everything but catcher and first base. He’s settled into playing center field or third base every day recently.
“Last year, it was a lot of crazy stuff going on, playing a lot of different positions and learning to hit major league pitching. I didn’t have time to relax,” Kingery said. “I have more confidence now. My mindset and approach have changed.”
Arrieta (6-5) allowed three runs and six hits for his second win in eight starts. Hector Neris pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 14 tries.
“It’s a challenge but when my sinker is down in the strike zone efficiently, the ball stays in the ballpark,” Arrieta said about facing a team that hit eight homers Monday.
Ketel Marte went deep for the Diamondbacks, and the teams combined for only two homers a night after setting a major league record with 13.
Arizona lefty Jon Duplantier (1-1) gave up four runs and seven hits in three innings.
After Kingery’s homer, Bryce Harper ripped an RBI double to right to make it 4-0.
Jay Bruce made an excellent sliding catch to prevent at least one run on Marte’s sinking liner to left with one out and runners on first and second in the third.
“He was emphatic that he can play the outfield and play it well,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of Bruce, who arrived in a trade on June 2. “He’s done it well.”
Carson Kelly’s two-run double with two outs in the fourth cut it to 4-2. Eduardo Escobar’s sacrifice fly in the fifth got Arizona within a run.
The Phillies regained their two-run lead in the bottom half. Bruce had an RBI single after J.T. Realmuto hit a double on which Rhys Hoskins scored following a throwing error by left fielder David Peralta.
“Those are things we’re usually very good at. We throw the ball to the right base. We don’t compound things,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We’ll clean that up and when we do we’ll win those margins.”
Marte connected off J.D. Hammer in the seventh.
Neris has converted 16 straight saves and he’s 45 of 48 since June 21, 2017. Only Toronto’s Ken Giles, a former Phillies closer, has a better percentage (94.7 in that span. Giles is 54 for 57.
The Phillies are removing Jerad Eickhoff from the starting rotation after he posted an 8.89 ERA in his last six starts and allowed 16 homers in 27 1/3 innings. The team hasn’t decided on a starter for Sunday in his spot.
Diamondbacks: RF Adam Jones wasn’t in the lineup for the fifth time in six games but entered in the seventh. He missed four straight with a right hamstring injury before returning Monday.
Phillies: OF Roman Quinn was 2 for 4 with a stolen base in his second rehab game at Class A Clearwater. Quinn has been on the injured list since April 25 with a right groin strain. RHPs Edubray Ramos and Pat Neshek and LHP Adam Morgan are close to returning from the injured list.
The Phillies send RHP Zach Eflin (6-5, 2.88 ERA) to the mound and RHP Merrill Kelly (6-6, 4.12) goes for the Diamondbacks on Wednesday in the series finale.