Plouffe’s homer in 16th leads Phillies over Dodgers
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Phillies’ relievers just kept shutting down the Dodgers, and Los Angeles finally ran out of pitchers.
Trevor Plouffe hit a three-run homer off outfielder Kike Hernandez with one out in the 16th inning as Philadelphia outlasted the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-4 Tuesday night in a game that lasted nearly six hours.
After using eight pitchers, the Dodgers turned to Hernandez (0-1) in the 16th. He got Nick Williams to fly out, then walked Jesmuel Valentin and Jorge Alfaro before Plouffe hit an opposite-field shot for his first homer of the season and second career walkoff, ending the game after 5:55.
“All I want to do is contribute to a victory,” Plouffe said. “I love being on a winning team. Just trying not to do too much. I was trying to elevate the ball.”
Eight Phillies relievers combined to allow one run and six hits over 11 impressive innings, with regular starter Vince Velasquez (7-8) pitching the top of the 16th. Velasquez, who tossed seven scoreless innings in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader win against San Diego, made his first relief appearance since 2015.
Velasquez, who lobbied manager Gabe Kapler to pitch, had to get out of a jam as Cody Bellinger singled with one out and Alex Verdugo drew a walk one out later. The runners advanced on a wild pitch, but Velasquez struck out Logan Forsythe to end it.
“Just a good feeling,” he said.
After Adam Morgan allowed a solo homer in the sixth, the six traditional relievers who preceded Velasquez tossed eight scoreless innings while combining for 10 strikeouts, two walks and four hits.
“Our bullpen is nasty,” said left-hander Austin Davis, who pitched two innings. “Everyone, top to bottom, is gross. Our bullpen is disgusting.”
The game, which was delayed 14 minutes at the start by rain, finished at 1:14 a.m.
“That was a long game, but when you win it makes it a little less long,” Davis said. “That was a blast.”
The teams combined to use 18 pitchers.
Williams and Jorge Alfaro homered for the Phillies, who moved a game ahead of Atlanta for first place in the NL East.
Yasmani Grandal hit solo home runs from both sides of the plate, and Joc Pederson had four hits with two doubles and an RBI for the NL-West leading Dodgers.
The Phillies threatened in the 15th, but Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen struck out Davis, who was forced to bat with the Phillies out of position players.
The Dodgers also had a chance in the 15th, but Davis struck out Grandal for the final out with runners on second and third.
Los Angeles put runners on first and second with two outs in the 11th, but Pat Neshek got Hernandez to ground out.
The Phillies could have ended it in the ninth with runners on first and second and one out. But Daniel Hudson, the third reliever in the inning, got Valentin to line out and Alfaro to ground out.
Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda retired the first 11 batters before Odubel Herrera’s two-out single in the fourth. He was cruising with a 4-1 lead until the Phillies scored three runs in the seventh, highlighted by Alfaro’s 446-foot, two-run blast, to tie it.
“That was unnecessary,” Maeda said. “If I get an out there, the probability of us winning would’ve gone higher.”
Maeda ended up allowing four runs and six hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts.
Phillies starter Aaron Nola, in his first game since the All-Star Game, allowed three runs and five hits in five innings. Nola had pitched at least six innings in 20 straight home starts dating back to last June.
Even though he didn’t start, Chase Utley was loudly cheered for the second straight night. The second baseman who made six All-Star appearances while helping the Phillies to the 2008 World Series title and five straight NL East titles received a standing ovation after delivering the lineup card to the umpires, and again when announced as a pinch-hitter in the 12th. He was cheered when he singled with one out off Luis Garcia.
Hoping Utley would pinch-hit, fans loudly chanted “We want Utley!” when second baseman Hernandez’s spot came up in the ninth, and then booed when Hernandez came to the plate. Fans booed again when Matt Kemp pinch-hit with one out in the 10th, chanting “Utley!” Utley!”
Utley recently announced he’s retiring after the season.
UMPIRE IS OUT
Home-plate umpire Tom Hallion left the game prior to the bottom of the 10th after a foul ball off Pederson’s bat hit off his mask in the top of the inning. Phil Cuzzi moved from second base to home plate and the game continued with three umpires.
Dodgers: OF Yasiel Puig (right oblique strain) is scheduled to be activated on Saturday against the Braves. ... Reliever Tom Koehler had season-ending shoulder surgery on Tuesday. Koehler hasn’t pitched all year. ... Reliever Pedro Baez (bicep) is expected to rejoin the team on Thursday.
Phillies: 2B Cesar Hernandez returned to the lineup after not starting the previous two games due to a sore right foot.
The Dodgers will recall RHP Walker Buehler (4-2, 3.45) for the series finale to face RHP Jake Arrieta (7-6, 3.47).
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