PHILADELPHIA — The way Philadelphia Phillies rookie Rhys Hoskins is swinging the bat of late, the team with the worst record in baseball has a swinging chance, even against the defending World Series champions.
Hoskins homered again as the Philadelphia Phillies (47-80) jumped on the Chicago Cubs (68-59) early and cruised to a 7-1 win at Citizens Bank Parkon Friday night.
Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff (4-7) earned the win. He went five innings while allowing one run and five hits. Eickhoff struck out eight and walked three.
Cubs starter Jose Quintana (4-3) didn’t have his best day. The lefty surrendered six runs in five innings on nine hits. He walked four while striking out seven.
Given a 1-0 lead on a first-inning homer by Kyle Schwarber, Quintana left a fastball over the heart of the plate to Hoskins in the bottom of the inning and paid for it. The two-run blast gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead they’d never relinquish.
The home run was Hoskins’ ninth and made him the fastest player in modern era history to reach nine home runs in terms of at-bats (54). Hoskins, 24, also became the first player in history with nine homers in his first 16 games. He is on pace to belt 28 home runs in 51 games.
The Phillies broke the game open in the second inning. They loaded the bases when Eickhoff flared a single to right that fell in front of a diving Jayson Heyward. The next batter, Cesar Hernandez, belted a ball to the gap in left-center that cleared the bases with a triple for a 5-1 lead. Hernandez had three hits on the night.
Freddy Galvis knocked the next pitch to left for an RBI single to make it 6-1.
That was more than enough for Eickhoff. The righty had his signature curveball working. Six of his eight strikeouts came on the pitch, none bigger than when he got Ian Happ to swing and miss at a curve with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth.
Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco hit a solo shot in the eighth off Feliz Peña to push the lead to 7-1.
Philadelphia’s bullpen pitched four shutout innings.
NOTES: Prior to Friday action, the Phillies activated OF Daniel Nava (lower back strain) from the disabled list. They sent RHP Jake Thompson back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday night. … Friday was “Players Weekend” around Major League Baseball, a player-focused event that included players wearing colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth league uniforms. … The Cubs send RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.52 ERA) to the mound Saturday in game two of the three-game series to face RHP Ben Lively (1-4, 3.70).