That development worked to the Phillies advantage. Yacksel Rios, Victor Arano, Hoby Milner, Edubray Ramos and Luis Garcia combined to pitch five hitless innings, while the offense scored single runs in the third and fourth to set up Alfaro’s game-winner, and Hector Neris earned the save despite giving up a solo homer to Jed Lowrie with one out in the ninth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Patience pays off: One reason the Phillies are high on infielder J.P. Crawford, their No. 1 draft pick in 2013, is that he knows how to work a base on balls. He demonstrated that skill in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs and nobody on in a tie game, Crawford kept the inning alive when he was walked by Athletics reliever Simon Castro. So when Alfaro followed with a home run, it not only gave the Phillies some insurance but meant that Oakland couldn’t bring the tying run to the plate after that without getting a runner on.
Shaking off the rust: Not only did the lengthy rain delay quiet the A’s offense, their defense upon the game’s resumption replaced the Phillies’ goose egg with a run in the third. With two outs on the board, Ty Kelly, pinch-hitting for Lively, shot a liner to left that A’s outfielder Matt Joyce dived for. The ball skipped off the wet grass past Joyce and Kelly jogged into second. One pitch later, Cesar Hernandez singled home Kelly on a hanging changeup from Chris Smith.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Saturday.
Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the A’s on Saturday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.