PHILS CRASHING BACK TO EARTH: TIED FOR 1ST, 48 TO PLAY!

By Jenny Masters

The Dodgers flew into town the other night and they have crashed the Phillies happiness market.

As they prepare to play this afternoon at the Bank, the Phillies NL East lead is gone — they are tied with the Braves at the top with the Mets yapping at both just a game away.

Cody Bellinger hammered two homers and the Dodgers beat the Phillies 8-2 Wednesday on a second straight rainy night.

The Phillies, who had an eight-game winning streak snapped Tuesday, fell into a tie for first place, and there are 48 games left this season.

All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto left in the first inning after he took two foul tips to his mask. Realmuto was checked on by team trainers but stayed in the game to catch the rest of the inning. Andrew Knapp pinch-hit for Realmuto, batting .268 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs, in the first and caught the rest of the game.

Realmuto is day-to-day and went through MLB’s concussion protocols.

A night after a rain delay wasted a suburb outing from Aaron Nola, Phillies manager Joe Girardi tried to strategize against the weather and made a last-minute switch on the mound. He started reliever Connor Brogdon for an inning and brought in Hector Neris to pitch the second.

After a 53-minute rain delay, scheduled starter Kyle Gibson took over.

“He rolled with it,” Girardi said. “I just told him we would keep him posted and when we felt it was good to give him six innings, that’s when we would send him out there.”

The Phillies could have used more rain.

Bellinger fouled off six pitches in a row during his marathon at-bat against Gibson (8-4) in the fourth before lining a sinker to left-center to break a scoreless tie. Gibson said it was “as good a string of executed pitches as I threw all night.”

“I knew it was long,” Bellinger said.

Bellinger has five homers in his last 11 games.

Dodgers starter David Price added an RBI double for his first extra-base hit of the season and made it 3-0.

“That was really cool that I hit that. I’ve got my first double,” Price said.

Bellinger’s ninth homer of the season gave the Dodgers an 8-2 lead in the ninth. He also struck out three times.

Price allowed Ronald Torreyes’ two-run single in the fourth and gave up five hits in four innings. Brusdar Graterol (3-0) tossed two scoreless innings of relief for the win.

The World Series champion Dodgers entered four games behind San Francisco in the NL West and would much rather win the division than face the prospect of a potential one-and-done wild-card game.

Though they can sweep the Phillies on Thursday, the Dodgers’ postseason road toughened a bit when they put star outfielder Mookie Betts on the injured list because of a sore right hip. He is batting .277 with 17 home runs and 44 RBIs in 87 games.

“It makes it a little more difficult, certainly, when you take out a player like that,” manager Dave Roberts said. “But we have lots of talented players. Do guys in both clubhouses, all clubhouses, scoreboard watch this time of year? Absolutely.”

Roberts saw LA’s lead grow on the scoreboard in the seventh when first baseman Alex Bohm botched a grounder for an error to let in one run and Knapp was charged with a passed ball to give them another. They scored three times and made it 6-2.

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