PHILADELPHIA (AP) – J.T. Realmuto had three hits, including a homer and a triple, Corey Dickerson also went deep and the Philadelphia Phillies got 17 hits in a 12-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
Cesar Hernandez contributed three hits and three RBIs. Rhys Hoskins doubled, tripled and drove in a run to help the Phillies stay close in the NL wild-card race. Philadelphia began play two games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild card.
Every Phillies starter had at least one hit and RBI.
Starling Marte homered and had three hits for Pittsburgh, and Josh Bell hit a two-run shot.
Pirates rookie Bryan Reynolds, who began the day leading the NL in batting, went 0 for 3 to snap his seven-game hitting streak and drop his average to .330.
Vince Velasquez (6-7) bounced back from a forgettable outing last time out, going five innings and allowing two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Velasquez coughed up a 7-0 lead in the third inning of Philadelphia’s 19-11 loss at Miami last Friday.
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler didn’t give Velasquez the opportunity to blow a lead this time, lifting the right-hander for a pinch-hitter in the fifth even though he had only thrown 75 pitches.
Mitch Keller (1-3), a 23-year-old rookie making his seventh career start, pitched into the fifth for Pittsburgh and gave up eight runs on 11 hits with eight strikeouts and a walk.
The Phillies did damage against the 2014 second-round pick in the fifth when Keller didn’t get an out while facing six batters, five of whom scored. Dickerson started the inning with an opposite-field homer to left. Realmuto followed with a triple and scored on Bryce Harper’s single. After a walk to Hoskins and an infield single by Jean Segura, Hernandez ended Keller’s night with a two-run single.
All told, Philadelphia tallied five runs on five hits in the inning to go up 8-2.
Marte led off the sixth by crushing a long homer to left, but Realmuto answered in the bottom half with a drive to left of his own.
Marte has reached base safely in all 19 career games in Philadelphia, batting .375 (27 for 72) with nine doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs.
Bell hit a two-run drive to the opposite field in left in the fourth, giving him 34 homers and 106 RBIs. Bell began Wednesday second in the NL in RBIs, one behind Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman.
Realmuto finished the three-game series 8 for 15 with a double, triple and homer.
Pirates: Open a four-game set Thursday night at Colorado with RHP Trevor Williams (6-6, 5.35 ERA) facing Rockies RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-5, 6.43).
Phillies: After an off day, begin a three-game home series Friday against the Mets with Philadelphia RHP Aaron Nola (12-4, 3.53 ERA) opposing RHP Zack Wheeler (9-7, 4.46).
(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)