Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
Alec Bohm
BALTIMORE — The Phillies and Orioles entered Friday night as two of baseball's best teams, so it makes sense that many consider this weekend's series at Camden Yards to be a potential World Series preview.

Friday's series opener lived up to the hype, featuring everything from multiple replay reviews on plays at the plate to a 1-hour and 11-minute rain delay before the start of the 11th inning. 

The game encapsulated the essence of postseason baseball, despite the calendar only showing mid-June.

In the end, Alec Bohm delivered the decisive blow with a two-run double to the gap in left-center in the 11th inning, securing a 5-3 victory for the Phillies. 

"I think that's probably the most exciting game that we've had this year," manager Rob Thomson said. "It felt like a playoff game, and the guys responded well, which is great to see." 

Bohm, hitting just .162 in June, turned in a three-hit performance on Friday. It was the type of outing that could break a funk.  

"It was loud, it was fun, and there was a lot of red," Bohm said, referencing the sea of Phillies fans in the sold-out crowd that made the trek south on I-95 to catch the series. 

Matt Strahm, who had not allowed an earned run in 27 consecutive games entering Friday — a franchise record dating back to 1912 — surrendered a solo home run to Anthony Santander in the eighth inning, allowing the Orioles to level the score at 2-2.

Kyle Schwarber delivered a two-out single to right in the 10th, allowing Edmundo Sosa to score the go-ahead run. Johan Rojas, pinch-running for David Dahl, was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base. The Phillies contested the call, but it stood. 

The Orioles responded in the bottom of the 10th as Cedric Mullins opened as the ghost runner on second base and eventually advanced to third after Orion Kerkering hit Jordan Westburg with a pitch and walked Gunnar Henderson to load the bases. Kerkering then uncorked a wild pitch on a missed sign that bounced to the backstop. Rafael Marchan pounced on the ball quickly but slipped in his effort to tag Mullins at the plate. Kerkering then got Santander to fly out to center field to limit the damage. 

Then Mother Nature got involved, dropping buckets from the sky and forcing a rain delay that lasted an hour and 11 minutes. 

"I didn't know if we were going to finish the game or come back tomorrow," Bohm said. "I didn't know if they were going to bring in the same guy or bring in someone else. I just tried to stay loose."

Marchan, recalled on Tuesday with the placement of J.T. Realmuto on the injured list, launched his first homer (and first hit) of the year in the fifth inning to give the Phillies a 2-1 advantage. Marchan also showcased his defensive skills in the fourth inning when he swiftly fielded a Jorge Mateo bunt and threw Santander out at third base. 

"The homer, the play at third, and if he doesn't slip, he gets Mullins at the plate," Thomson said. "He played free and relaxed, and that's what you should do." 

"It’s amazing," Marchán said. "This team has been doing a great job of playing excellent games, and to be part of that just makes me feel grateful and happy to be part of this group." 

Schwarber crushed a middle-in curveball from Orioles' starter Kyle Bradish for his seventh leadoff home run of the season and the 38th of his career. Adley Rutschman responded with a clutch hit in the third inning, poking an 88-mph cutter from Ranger Suarez down the third base line to drive in Mullins and even the game at 1-1. 

Suarez lasted 6 2/3 innings for the Phillies, surrendering one run on six hits. He walked two and whiffed six. 

"Today was one of those days where my changeup worked really well throughout the game," Suarez said through the team's interpreter. "I was throwing it in the counts where I wanted and it really helped me." 

Seranthony Dominguez recorded the final three outs to collect his first save of the season. 

The sellout crowd emptied considerably after the rain delay, leaving a loud contingent of Phillies fans to enjoy arguably the best win of the season.

“We’ve got the greatest fans in the world,” Thomson said. “Those people stayed until the end. That was really cool. Our guys really appreciated it.”

The two clubs resume their three-game set on Saturday afternoon.

During his pregame availability on Friday, Rob Thomson mentioned that outfielder Brandon Marsh might rejoin the Phillies before Saturday's game in Baltimore. Marsh was to play center field for Double-A Reading on Friday night, following a three-hit performance on Thursday. Marsh has been out since June 3 with a right hamstring strain. 

Long Time Coming
Friday's game marked the Phillies' first appearance in Baltimore since July 12, 2018. Philadelphia won that previous matchup 5-4, with Scott Kingery, Jorge Alfaro, and Cesar Hernandez each collecting three hits. Nick Pivetta earned the win, and Seranthony Dominguez secured the save.

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis