Baseball / Sports

Phillies resume losing ways, fall to Pirates 7-2

PITTSBURGH -- When he walked the first batter he faced in the second inning, Roberto Hernandez had already allowed every member of the Pittsburgh Pirates except the pitcher to reach base.

He had already thrown 51 pitches. And for all intents and purposes, Hernandez had already created a deficit too large for the Phillies to overcome.

The Pirates batted around in the first inning of Friday's Independence Day game between intrastate rivals, making easy work of Hernandez and putting the foundation down on a 7-2 victory over the Phillies.

The Phillies (37-49) have lost seven of their last eight games. They have six games remaining on their current road trip and nine before the All-Star break.

In addition to looking like a team on the verge of some changes before the July 31 trade deadline, the Phillies appear to be a team ready for the midsummer break, too. The Pirates (45-41) had more hits in the first inning (five) than the Phillies would have over the course of nine innings (two).

Any momentum the Phillies could have hoped to take from Thursday night's ninth-inning, come-from-behind win in Miami was blown up when Hernandez took the mound on Friday afternoon. Hernandez couldn't even take advantage of the Pirates running into an out in the disastrous first inning.

Hernandez gave up back-to-back singles after retiring the first batter he faced. He even got a gift of what should have been a second out when Starling Marte tried to score from second on a Andrew McCutchen hit that caromed off third baseman Cody Asche's glove. But Jimmy Rollins easily threw Marte out.

With two outs and a runner on first, Hernandez gave up three more hits and walked two batters, too, as Pittsburgh batted around and put a 4-spot on the home half of the scoreboard.

The Phillies, who have scored more than four runs just two times over their last 10 games, were held to one hit over the first five innings against Gerrit Cole. Even Cole's early exit (back soreness) couldn't jump-start the Phils' bats.

After pushing across two runs in the sixth to avoid being shut out for the 12th time this season, the Phillies were sent down in order in each of the game's final three innings. Four Pirates relievers combined to sit down 11 straight to end the game.

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