ABOVE PHOTO: Philadelphia Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins (17) is greened by Bryson Stott, right, after hitting a solo home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Monday, May 9, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
By Tim Booth
SEATTLE — While a pair of rainouts threw the Philadelphia Phillies’ schedule out of whack, those couple of days off ended up being exactly the time Rhys Hoskins needed to get going at the plate.
Hoskins homered for the third straight game and provided all of Philadelphia’s offense with the second grand slam of his career and the Phillies beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on Wednesday.
The Phillies took two of three from the Mariners helped by the homer barrage by Hoskins. He had solo homers in each of the first two games and provided the big blow with his first grand slam since March 28, 2019, against Atlanta.
“It’s not often you get a couple of days to either rest and kind of regain some energy, or work,” Hoskins said. “It’s hard to take more swings than normal during the year because you’ve got to go play.”
The rainouts last week against the New York Mets allowed Hoskins time to work with hitting coach Kevin Long. They were lengthy sessions with the focus on Hoskins using more of his lower half.
“You always are teetering on what’s too much. Sometimes you just need to go hit, and hit, and hit, and hit and hit till you can’t,” Hoskins said. “We got a couple of pretty long sessions and it seems to be paying off.”
Hoskins lined a 2-1 pitch from Seattle starter Logan Gilbert (4-1) just inside the foul pole down the left field line with one out in the fourth inning. Gilbert, who started the day second in the AL in ERA at 1.36, retired nine of the first 10 batters including five strikeouts to start the game.
But Gilbert ran into trouble in the fourth with a single by Alec Bohn and walks to Bryce Harper and Jean Segura setting up Hoskins for his fifth homer of the season. Hoskins’ previous seven homers dating back to last season had all been solo shots.
Gilbert had allowed five earned runs in his first 36 innings to start this season, but gave up four on one swing. He lasted five innings and finished with nine strikeouts.
“The goal is to win. I let up too many runs and walked too many people,” Gilbert said. “But like I said, the stuff felt the best it’s felt all year. So I think the adjustments I made throughout the week are going to help me in the long run.”
Phillies starter Bailey Falter was one out away from earning his first victory of the season before being pulled with two outs in the fifth inning at his target of 65 pitches.
Making his first start of the season and just the second of his career, Falter scattered five hits and allowed one run, and importantly didn’t walk a batter. He struck out four.
Adam Frazier doubled twice off Falter and scored after the first one on Julio Rodríguez’s RBI single. But that was the extent of the damage against the right-hander.
“It’s awesome. I couldn’t have asked for anything better besides getting that last guy, maybe try to sneak a (win). But it’s OK,” Falter said.
Seranthony Domínguez (2-1), Jose Alvarado, Jeurys Familia and Corey Knebel combined for 4 1/3 innings of relief allowing four hits and one run. Knebel earned his sixth save.
Ty France had a two-out RBI single in the seventh inning but Seattle scored three runs or less for the 11th time in the past 15 games. The loss finished 16 straight days of games for Seattle, its longest stretch this season.
“We definitely need to reset, there’s no question. Certain guys are struggling,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
Philadelphia recalled Falter from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make the start. OF Matt Vierling was optioned to Lehigh Valley.
Seattle acquired minor league pitcher Prelander Berroa from San Francisco for infielder Donovan Walton. Berroa was pitching for Single-A Eugene in the Northwest League. Walton appeared in one game this season for Seattle this season. He appeared in 24 games batting .206 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 2021.
Mariners: Seattle manager Scott Servais said RHP Sergio Romo and C Tom Murphy are expected to go on the road trip although it unclear when either may be activated. Romo has been on the injured list since April 13 with right shoulder inflammation. Murphy suffered a dislocated left shoulder trying to make a tag last week. Servais said Murphy is doing some strengthen exercises to try and stabilize the shoulder. He’s eligible to come off the injured list next Tuesday.
Phillies: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-3, 4.10) is expected to be activated off the COVID-19 IL and start the opener in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
Mariners: After an off day, Seattle opens a three-game series in New York against the Mets on Friday. LHP Marco Gonzales (1-4, 3.91) will start the opener.