Tuesday night was an exciting game for the Phillies, as they stormed back from trailing twice to walk things off on the hapless Cincinnati Reds. Nick Maton’s game-winning single punctuated a terrific day for the team, as Bryce Harper homered twice in the first game of his rehab assignment.
The second game of a four-game set with the Reds was quite an adventure, as the Phils went from completely devoid of offense in the first half of the contest, to late game heroics in a thrilling victory. The Phillies didn’t even tally a hit until the sixth inning, but then opened the floodgates with four runs in the frame, giving themselves a 4-3 lead. Alec Bohm plated the first run for the Phils with a single, and J.T. Realmuto drove in two more with a triple. Nick Castellanos then logged an RBI single of his own to put the Phils on top.
The struggling Matt Vierling launched a solo shot off reliever Ian Gibaut in the seventh to give them a two-run lead. The recently dominant José Alvarado surrendered a run in the eighth to make it a one-run game, but struck out three straight with runners on second and third to limit the damage. Brad Hand came on in the ninth to close things out, but a throwing error from the normally sure handed Edmundo Sosa allowed the game to continue, and a T.J. Friedl triple gave the Reds a 6-5 lead.
The Phils were on the ropes in the bottom of the ninth, but a leadoff walk to Jean Segura came back to bite Reds’ closer Alexis Díaz as Bryson Stott hit a pinch-hit double to tie the game. After Vierling struck out, pinch hitter Nick Maton walked things off with a single to score Segura from the third.
While all of this was going on, Bryce Harper was playing in his first rehab game for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Harper looks every bit the MVP he was last season, as he crushed two home runs in his first contest with the Iron Pigs. In his first plate appearance he launched a solo shot, and then crushed a three-run blast in the eighth. Harper’s return date isn’t set in stone, but Tuesday’s game is encouraging, and he should be back within the next week or two at the latest.