The Phillies topped the Marlins 3-1 on Wednesday behind a terrific outing from Cliff Lee. The victory wrapped up a sweep of the Marlins and was the Phillies’ seventh straight win overall.
At 72-71, they climbed a game above the .500 mark for the first time since June 3 when they stood at 28-27. They’re now just three games back of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot. With their next seven contests coming against the cellar-dwelling Astros and Mets, they’ve absolutely played their way into postseason contention.
Jimmy Rollins provided the offensive spark again on Wednesday, blasting a two-run homer and scoring twice. He’s off to a blistering start to the month of September, hitting .326 (15-for-46) with four homers, nine RBI and a pair of steals over 11 games.
The Phillies bullpen has also played a major role in their recent surge. They haven’t been scored upon in their last 16 1/3 innings of work.
Beltre injures shoulder, heads for MRI
Adrian Beltre was removed from Wednesday’s game against the Indians when he injured his left shoulder diving for a ball in the second inning.
The Rangers are calling the MRI purely precautionary, and the fact that he wasn’t immediately taken out of the game are all promising signs.
Before departing, Beltre did something that he’s done fairly regularly over the past month, and that’s knock a ball out of the yard. In his only at-bat of the game, he knocked a two-run homer off Jeanmar Gomez, giving him 32 on the season.
He’s been the hottest hitter on the planet over his last 20 games, hitting an astounding .405 (32-for-79) with 13 homers and 24 RBI. With the Rangers relatively secure in their position atop the AL West, there’s no incentive to rush their slugging third-sacker back into the lineup. Should the MRI reveal no structural damage, they’ll likely play it safe and rest him for at least a game or two.
Jeter hobbled by ankle injury
At 38-years-old, Derek Jeter is enjoying one of the finest seasons in his sure-fire Hall of Fame career. It appears now however, that he may be hobbling to the finish line.
Jeter was removed in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game with a bone bruise on his left ankle. He allegedly tweaked his ankle last week as well, but this injury “looked worse” and Jeter was in noticeable discomfort as he left the field.
Before leaving, Jeter went 2-for-5 with a run scored in the game, running his seasonal line to an impressive .324/.368/.449 with 15 homers, 91 runs, 52 RBI and nine stolen bases. With Mark Teixeira already sidelined, the Yankees can ill-afford to be without Jeter’s bat down the stretch. He insists that he’ll return to the lineup on Thursday against the Red Sox.
National League Quick Hits: Luke Gregerson notched a second consecutive save as the Padres completed a sweep of the Cardinals… Dusty Baker officially named Jonathan Broxton his “Number one candidate” to close while Aroldis Chapman is sidelined with a sore shoulder, though it was J.J. Hoover who picked up his first career save in Wednesday’s victory… Angel Pagan sat out Wednesday’s contest due to a hand laceration, but expects to return to the lineup on Friday… Pedro Alvarez was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup due to discomfort in his right wrist… Corey Hart, who is battling plantar fasciitis in his left foot, isn’t likely to return until Saturday… Carlos Gomez left Wednesday’s game in the second inning after suffering a quad contusion while attempting to break up a double play. He’s currently listed as day-to-day… Matt Harvey allowed just one run and struck out 10 in a losing effort against the Nationals… Ian Desmond launched his 23rd home run of the season and sixth in 22 games since returning from the DL… Wilin Rosario belted his 24th home run, which trails only A.J. Pierzynski among all major league catchers… Paul Maholm was destroyed again, allowing six earned runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings, and has posted a horrifying 10.03 ERA over three starts in September… With J.J. Putz nursing a sore back, David Hernandez picked up his second save in a victory over the Dodgers… Jed Lowrie went 0-for-3 with a walk in his first game action since July 14… Rickie Weeks homered for the sixth time this month in a win over the Braves.
American League Quick Hits: Joe Mauer missed a second consecutive game with a back issue and is listed as day-to-day… Desmond Jennings missed a fifth straight game as a precautionary measure but expects to return to the lineup on Thursday… As long as he receives proper clearance from the doctor on Friday, Andy Pettitte will return to the Yankees rotation next week… Adam Dunn continues to progress very slowly from his oblique injury and is considered unlikely to return this week… Ivan Nova will start for the Yankees on Saturday, replacing Freddy Garcia in the Yankees’ rotation for the remainder of the season… Dustin Pedroia left in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s contest to be with his wife while she gives birth… Edwin Encarnacion blasted his 39th home run and drove home his 99th run in a losing effort against the Mariners… Josh Hamilton smashed his league-leading 41st homer in a victory over the Indians, but made an early exit due to a sore left knee… Curtis Granderson homered twice and plated three runs as the Yankees topped the Red Sox… B.J. Upton hit his sixth homer in his past eight games in a loss to the Orioles… Albert Pujols launched his 30th homer, making it 12 consecutive seasons that he has reached the plateau… Denard Span went 3-for-5 with a triple and two runs in his return to the Twins lineup… Kevin Youkilis homered twice and drove home four in a losing effort against the Tigers… Cody Ross was ejected from Wednesday’s game after arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez… Nate McLouth’s walk-off single plated Manny Machado, giving the Orioles a much needed victory over the Rays… Max Scherzer won his career-best 16th game as the Tigers topped the White Sox to pull within one game in the AL Central.