Oh my Jose Alvarez right in the….
? Carted off the field
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) August 20, 2020
By Sam Bush
Well, that didn’t last long.
The Phillies had risen to 9-9 after winning Tuesday night in Boston.
But then came Wednesday’s loss to the Red Sox and last night’s double dose of failure against the Jays in Buffalo.
Rowdy Tellez homered and hit a go-ahead two-run single in a seven-run sixth inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied from a seven-run deficit to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-8 and sweep a doubleheader.
In the first of the seven-inning games, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. chopped a single over a drawn-in infield in the seventh to give Toronto a 3-2 win.
The Blue Jays made the most of a one-day visit to their adopted Buffalo home in between trips to Baltimore and Tampa Bay.
“We were thinking we had a chance,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “The guys were believing the whole time, even though we were down by seven. … It’s almost like we’re home now.”
Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius committed a costly two-out error, one of two by the Phils infield in the sixth, to set up Tellez’s Game 2 heroics.
Tellez appeared in both games after being struck in the face by a passing runner on Monday at Baltimore, and stayed in the second game after reaching for the back of his leg on a third-inning single.
“He cramped up running to first, but he was fine,” Montoyo said. “It was great to see him have a game like that after missing a couple of games.”
The Phillies jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning. Andrew McCutchen hit a three-run double to cap off the frame after singling and scoring earlier.
Teoscar Hernandez hit a two-run homer in the first for the Blue Jays, who didn’t shrink the deficit any further until the sixth. Gurriel hit a three-run homer, and Danny Jansen scampered home on a wild pitch by Hector Neris (1-1).
Anthony Kay (2-0) worked an inning of relief for the win as Toronto (12-11) extended its winning streak to five games. A.J. Cole recorded his first save, getting Roman Quinn to strike out after allowing an RBI single to J.T. Realmuto.
It was the second time this season the Phillies scored seven in an inning only to allow a seven-run inning later in the game. On Aug. 10, the Phillies scored seven in the second inning of a 13-8 win against Atlanta, which scored seven in the ninth.
Gregorius and Alec Bohm had RBI singles and Andrew Knapp added an RBI double.
“It’s not like we’ve not been playing good baseball, you know?” Gregorius said. “We’ve got to put the best foot forward all the time, that’s the best we can do.”
Trent Thornton came off the injured list to start the game for Toronto, and recorded only two outs while yielding five hits and a walk.
Vince Velasquez settled down after Hernandez’s homer and struck out seven while allowing five hits over five-plus innings. He retired 13 of 14 batters before Tellez homered to start the sixth.
In the opener, Cavan Biggio tied the game with an RBI double in the sixth and Jordan Romano (2-1) worked the seventh to earn the win. Bryce Harper homered and McCutchen added an RBI single for Philadelphia. Deolis Guerra (1-3) took the loss.
Prior to Gurriel’s game-winning hit, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit the ball twice on one swing for a single, and the added spin may have caused center fielder Ramon Quinn to mishandle the ball and advance Hernandez, who scored the eventual winning run, to third.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was in attendance for the first time since Sahlen Field took its place as the Blue Jays’ home for the shortened season. He was seen before the first game walking in front of the first-base dugout toward the foul-territory bullpens, but did not speak to reporters.