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Phillies’ Bohm keeps on ticking against Giants

PHILADELPHIA — Alec Bohm made good on his promise of the night before, faithfully returning to his third base position and cleanup spot Sunday night as the Phillies topped the Giants 5-4.

The night before, amid a game played in a relatively steady rain, Bohm was victimized by a second-inning swing in which his left foot seemed to slide a bit on the mud, and his right knee buckled to the ground.

Bohm didn’t answer the bell for a third-inning at bat — which materialized because the Phillies scored nine runs over the first two innings — a subsequent announcement saying he wouldn’t return due to right hip “tightness.”

Bohm later offered reassurance, saying he expected to play in the series’ third game Sunday night, and adding, “I’ve played through much worse. It’s nothing really that I’m concerned about.”

There haven’t been many worrisome moments over what thus far as been Bohm’s best season. The one-time troubled third baseman has blossomed into a fielder to be counted upon and a rock in the middle of the lineup.

While providing “protection” in hitting behind No. 3 bopper Bryce Harper, Bohm finished Saturday leading all of the MLB with a .364 batting average, and was tied for the National League RBI lead with Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna with 32. Bohm complemented that with a 1.014 OPS.

“I don’t know if I’d ever say that I thought he was going to lead the league in RBIs and batting average, but I know that he’s a good hitter,” manager Rob Thomson said of Bohm. “And he’s in a spot, hitting fourth in our lineup, where you’re going to have people on base to be able to drive in. He does all the things that RBI men do. He swings at good pitches, he uses the field and he makes contact. That’s where you pile up the RBIs.”

As for the protection part, that was Bohm on the on-deck circle Sunday night, with Harper striding to the plate in the third inning with a couple of teammates on. If there might have been any thoughts of Giants pitcher Logan Webb pitching around Harper, Bohm’s presence would negate them.

Harper promptly launched a three-run home run to center to boost the Phillies to a 4-1 lead.

In the field, Bohm showed no ill effects from his hip concern of the night before, appreciating a stutter-step by two-time Gold Glove Giants shortstop Nick Ahmed, whose slip caused him to throw Bohm’s routine ground ball into the Phillies’ dugout in the second inning. The Phils’ cleanup hitter made good on that, too, scoring a first and game-tying run on Edmundo Sosa’s subsequent infield hit.

Bohm would double to left field in the seventh inning, extending his careerlong hitting streak to 18 games.

“We’re a deep team,” Bohm said. “We’re confident in pretty much everybody that walks up to that box. To be able to keep it rolling and put up a day like (Saturday’s 14-3 win) against a pretty good pitching staff … and to be able to string hits together and not really hit a bunch of home runs and score runs that way, just take our walks and get our singles and keep the line moving, it’s just another way we can get it done.”

That Bohm run was indicative of the way the Phillies have been manufacturing runs of late rather than just producing them with power. In scoring 14 runs Saturday night, the Phillies only had one home run, that coming in the seventh inning off the bat of Whit Merrifield.

Plate patience has been a key for the Phillies over the run of eight wins in nine games through Saturday’s blowout win.

“I thought we did a good job in the first inning, because we scored five without an extra base hit,” Thomson said Sunday. “We had really good at bats, and 10 walks, 12 hits.

“We’re getting good pitching and timely hitting. But on any given night, like that last game (against the Angels) in Los Angeles, we had 18 strikeouts. But we found a way to win. We’re getting different people contributing every night, which is good. We just have to keep going, stay humble and keep grinding it out every game.”

• • •

Bryson Stott’s slow start at the plate might be a thing of the past now.

Stott had an ohfer in four trips on April 27 in San Diego, dropping his batting average to .210. The next day in that series finale, Stott had three hits, including a pair of homers. Then he kept on hitting, raising his batting average to .240 through Saturday.

“He’s hit the ball hard a lot and really didn’t have anything to show for it,” Thomson said early Sunday. “He’s put together some really good at bats in the last week.”

Stott kept it up, stroking a two-out double to left center to knock in a run in the third inning Sunday night.

• • •

NOTES >> Stott figures to see time at shortstop with Trea Turner out until mid-late June, but with a rainy Saturday and showery Sunday he hasn’t had time to do some serious fielding practice there. Thomson said of Stott, “I have to get his comfort level,” at short before playing him there. Meanwhile, there’s been nothing wrong with having Sosa in that spot the past two games. … Officially, impressive starter Spencer Turnbull was available out of the bullpen Sunday night while the man replacing him in the rotation, Taijuan Walker, was doing credible work on the mound. But Turnbull wasn’t really an option, as Thomson is likely saving him for Tuesday (vs. Toronto, 6:40 p.m.) and a “piggyback” outing with Cristopher Sanchez. Turnbull would likely come in and try to go long after Sanchez starts and works maybe five innings or so. … Meanwhile, Thomson will go with top starter Zack Wheeler on Monday in the series finale against the Giants, a 4:05 start.

Source: Berkshire mont

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