MLB wild-card: Rhys Hoskins powers Phillies past Pirates in extra innings

PITTSBURGH — The Phillies are looking for a starting pitcher.


There were two of them on the mound Friday night at PNC Park who could help.

One of them was Pittsburgh Pirates Lefty Jose Quintana. He pitched 5⅔ shutout innings for his club. His next start will likely come with another team, maybe the Phillies.

Quintana’s counterpart Friday night was Bailey Falter, who could be the odd man out of the rotation if the Phillies, as expected, land a starter before Tuesday’s deadline.

Falter stated his case to stay in the rotation with the best start of his young career — six innings of two-run ball, one walk and eight strikeouts.

Falter did his job and kept his team in the game until the Phillies could tie the contest with two runs in the seventh. The Phillies went on to win it 4-2 on the strength of Rhys Hoskins’ 20th homer, a two-run shot to dead center in the top of the 10th.

The home run was Hoskins’ fourth hit of the night. They also walked. He and Kyle Schwarber had back-to-back hits in the seventh to tie the game.

“Big win,” Hoskins said afterwards. “Big win. Like we have all year, we don’t quit. There’s definitely a lot of fight in this group. And I think there’s a little extra confidence in the dugout because we know how well the guys in the bullpen are throwing the ball. If we can keep it close and take the lead, we’ve got a chance. Bailey threw the ball well and the guys with nasty stuff came in and were nasty.”

Relievers Brad Hand, Jose Alvarado, Seranthony Dominguez and Connor Brogdon combined on four scoreless innings.

Hoskins provided a little glimpse of what went on in the clubhouse immediately after the win.

“We walked in and JT (Realmuto) yelled, ‘Good teams, playoff teams, figure out how to win games like that, and we did,'” Hoskins said. “It was a little ugly in the beginning but we found a way to win.”

The Phillies have played 100 games. They are 53-47. They have won three in a row, four of their last five and control the third National League wild-card spot based on winning their season series against St. Louis.

Of course, a lot can happen over the final 62 games of the season. The Phillies’ offense is in pretty good shape. It entered Friday night ranked fifth in the majors, scoring 4.67 runs per game. The offense will only get better when Jean Segura returns, possibly during the next homestand, and Bryce Harper returns, possibly before the end of August.

“Those will be big additions,” Hoskins said. “Anytime you can add an MVP, it’s good for the club.”

The Phillies are still looking to improve their starting pitching before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Quintana and others are possibilities. But a team can never have enough pitching. So, regardless of whether he stays in the rotation, goes to the bullpen or stays on reserve in Triple A, Falter will help the club if he continues to pitch like he did Friday night.

“I thought I threw well,” the left-hander said. “It was a great outing to build on. We’ll see what happens next.”

Falter is aware that the deadline is coming. He did not deny that he’s hoping his performance will win some faith from the front office.

Hoskins’ go-ahead homer in the 10th came on an 0-2 cutter from Duane Underwood Jr.

“What a stud,” Falter said of Hoskins. “They had a hell of a day.”

Hoskins also made a defensive gem behind Falter in the fourth inning.

After the game, Hoskins admitted that he has an eye on the trade deadline and is confident that president of baseball ops Dave Dombrowski will make the team better.

“I know who’s running the show and I know what he’s done in the past,” Hoskins said. “He likes to add. I feel like we’ve done enough that we’re obviously in this thing and adding something makes sense. It’s above me to say what. But Anytime you’re adding, you can get better.

“We’re going to be in this thing. I’m hoping we add something. Anytime you’re adding good players, it’s a good thing.”

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