After an inconsistent start to the season, the Phillies offense is now hitting with increasing frequency

After an inconsistent start, the Phillies offense climbing with increasing frequency appeared first on NBC Sports Philadelphia

By Phil Sheridan

Before he sold cheesesteaks at Citizens Bank Park, Charlie Manuel was a damn good baseball manager who knew a thing or two about hitting.

It’s hard to say that the breakout season arrived in Philadelphia when the gametime temperature was a balmy 63 degrees. And hey, maybe the Phillies don’t check the thermometer.

Whatever it is, they’re starting to throw baseballs out of the bank more and more often. Four of their eight hits against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday were home runs. The Phillies have hit a total of eight home runs in their last three games against Colorado. They were 3-0 in those games.

In their first 21 games of the season, the Phillies hit a total of 19 home runs.

“It kind of comes in waves,” manager Rob Thomson said. “We just have to keep going.”

In Sunday’s win, the home runs got the Phillies going and then allowed them to close the deal.

Trea Turner, who whetted the appetite of Phillies fans with his epic five-homer performance in the World Baseball Classic last month, hit his first home run as a Phillie in just his 19th game of the season on Wednesday.

“We joked about it,” second baseman Bryson Stott said. “Who would take first. Trea is a great player and a great player. She knew he would go.

Turner hit his second home run of the season and first as a Philly at Citizens Bank Park (in front of a sellout crowd of 44,618) in the first inning on Sunday. With one out, Turner hit the first pitch he saw from Colorado right fielder Jose Urena to left field. The ball landed 392 feet from the goal.

Two innings later, Kody Clemens hit his first home run as a Philly to lead off the third inning.

Stott, who set a club record 17-game hitting streak to open the season, hit two home runs in the seventh. Brandon Marsh hit a two-run bomb to center that was confirmed on review. A fan touched the ball, but not before it cleared the fence over the out-of-town scoreboard.

It was Marsh’s fourth home run of the season. He also walked two, giving him the best OPS (on-base plus hitting percentage) in baseball. Marsh is the only player in the major leagues with at least four doubles, four triples and four home runs.

“He’s playing really well right now,” Thomson said. “He’s getting good at bats, playing good defense. He’s just a good player.”

And just wait until Charlie announces that the season is hit.

Day off

The Phillies have their first day off since April 6 on Monday. The Phillies-White Sox game in Chicago was a bust last Monday. That made for a double whammy on Tuesday, meaning the same amount of work for the bullpen as for the position players.

“It’s going to be a great day off for these guys,” Thomson said. “They’ve been grinding for a while. Especially our bullpen, I think they need a rest. Especially the three or four guys we used a lot.

The Phillies’ five runs in the seventh and eighth innings allowed Thomson to give Craig Kimbrel the day off. With a 9-3 lead, Luis Ortiz pitched the ninth inning.

On Tuesday, the Phillies begin a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners, who were 10-11 heading into Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. The teams wrap up the series and the Phillies’ home game with a 1:05 p.m. game Thursday at Citizens Bank Park.

From there, the Phillies travel to Houston for a series against their World Series rivals, the Houston Astros.

Move list

The Phillies recalled right-hander Yunir Marte from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Marte made the opening day roster but was removed after giving up six runs in one inning over two appearances.

Christopher Sanchez, who pitched well in Saturday’s win over Colorado, was optioned to Lehigh Valley. The Phillies want Sanchez to be able to continue to start and stretch his plate appearances.

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