PHILADELPHIA -- The final out at Citizens Bank Park was secured at 1:42 a.m. EDT Thursday, finally bringing to conclusion a game that began six hours and 35 minutes earlier, and netted the Los Angeles Dodgers another victory.
After nine hits, two errors, three replay reviews, 10 pitching changes, 16 walks, 23 strikeouts, 366 pitches, and a two-hour 37-minute rain delay, the Dodgers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7-2, adding an extended third chapter to a loopy four-game series that will conclude with a matinee Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m local time. The baseball schedule can be cruel.
David Freese provided the go-ahead, two-run home run in the seventh inning immediately after the Phillies' offense showed its only signs of life. Justin Turner, pinch-hitting, supplied another two-run home run in the eighth for insurance just before 1 a.m.
Six Dodgers pitchers, starting with Kenta Maeda's two scoreless innings, held the Phillies to two hits and six walks. Two Phillies also reached base on two errors by third baseman Max Muncy.
Menacing clouds could be seen drifting over from behind the video board overlooking left field in the second inning. In a flash, rain poured and wind whipped at once, blowing trash onto the field and impelling a rapid response from the grounds crew. The game was paused at 8 p.m. local time in the top of the third inning with one out and a runner at first base.
Twenty minutes into the delay, a shirtless man stormed the field and used the tarp as a gigantic slip-n-slide. Three security guards in blue ponchos raced out to capture him. It took a circuitous route but they eventually chased him down. The man walked off to cheers from fans lined under shelter.
On-field activity ceased from there until the grounds crew emerged to remove the tarp at 10:25 p.m. A few minutes later, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts reappeared in the visiting dugout with a cup of coffee. The game resumed at 10:37 p.m. when J.D. Hammer, a bespectacled right-hander who relieved Nick Pivetta, fired a high fastball to Freese.
The Dodgers (64-34) replaced Maeda with Casey Sadler. He faced three batters. He retired the first two and walked the third. With Bryce Harper coming up, Roberts elected to insert the left-handed Julio Urias. A battle ensued but it was left incomplete after Scott Kingery was thrown out attempting to steal second base.
Los Angeles had netted a run in the first inning, before the weather stopped cooperating, without a hit. Pivetta issued three straight one-out walks to load the bases and A.J. Pollock drove a fly ball far enough to score Muncy from third base. They doubled the lead in the sixth inning on Urias's two-out RBI single up the middle.
On the mound, Urias was keeping a bizarre no-hitter intact. The Phillies (49-47) had four runners reach base but no hits against Maeda, Sadler and Urias. Three reached on walks and one on an error. A fifth -- Cesar Hernandez -- reached to lead off the sixth inning on Muncy's second error of the game. The no-hitter finally died when Scott Kingery followed with a bloop single to shallow right-center field. Philadelphia's only other hit was a single by Adam Haseley in the ninth inning.
After Harper flied out and Kingery advanced to second base on a passed ball, Roberts chose to intentionally walk Rhys Hoskins to bring up Brad Miller, a left-handed hitter, with the bases loaded and one out. Urias walked him with his 61st pitch, after a seven-pitch clash, and the game was tied. That ended Urias' outing. Pedro Baez was summoned. The right-hander allowed an RBI groundout, knotting the game at two, before striking out Nick Williams to escape.
The tie was short-lived. Muncy led the seventh off with a single and Freese smashed a two-run home run to the opposite field off right-hander Juan Nicasio. Turner, another 30-something, soon matched him, ensuring the Dodgers at least a series split after a long night.
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