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Shut down early, Phillies’ lineup explodes late to win another series

Shut down early, Phillies' lineup explodes late to win another series

Shut down early, Phillies’ lineup explodes late to win another series originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

MIAMI — Shut out through five innings for the first time in more than a month, the Phillies finally got to Jesus Luzardo in the top of the sixth Saturday, scoring four times to turn around a game that became a laugher.

Whit Merrifield led off with Kyle Schwarber sidelined by a sore back and started the rally with a one-out double off Luzardo, who had allowed just two hits prior. J.T. Realmuto singled him in to tie the game. Luzardo struck out Bryce Harper and was lifted by manager Skip Schumaker, who did not plan to extend his lefty too far. This was Luzardo’s return from the injured list after missing three weeks with elbow tightness.

The tough lefty was pulled for right-handed reliever Anthony Maldonado, who allowed a single to Alec Bohm and walked Nick Castellanos to set up Bryson Stott‘s bases-clearing triple just inside the first-base line.

The Phillies scored four more runs in the eighth on four consecutive singles by the 6-7-8-9 hitters. They won, 8-3, to improve to 28-12 on the season and 13-5 on the road.

Stott has been highly productive at the plate over his last 10 games, hitting .375 with three doubles, a triple, 13 RBI, eight walks and six strikeouts. He ended the day with his highest batting average (.259) and OPS (.759) since the fifth game of the season.

“You always want to play well,” said Stott, whose numbers were down in April. “When your team is rolling, you’ve got to find a different way, whether that’s making a tag at second, turning a double play or anything like that.

“I never blew it out of proportion for myself. A couple years ago maybe, I would’ve tinkered with some stuff. But just playing and realizing you’re going to go on stretches where you’re hitting .200, it’s just baseball. You’ve got to keep getting in the box and keep taking good swings.

“In college, I struggled my junior year a little bit and went from a huge leg kick and spread out and had a smaller leg kick. I had a toe-tap when I debuted (in the majors) and got exposed with that and now I’m doing the no-stride full time. It’s always adjusting as the pitchers adjust.”

Castellanos avoided trying to do too much in the plate appearance just before Stott. There were two runners in scoring position for him in a tie game but Maldonado was struggling to locate and Castellanos waited him out for a walk to load the bases. He, too, has had much better at-bats the…

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