Colton Cowser's throw, hit help lift surging Orioles over Phillies
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Colton Cowser hit a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning after helping to throw out the potential go-ahead run in the eighth, lifting the surging Baltimore Orioles to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.
Ryan Mountcastle and Jordan Westburg went deep for the AL-East leading Orioles, who have won 13 of 16 games. Baltimore moved 2 1/2 games ahead of idle Tampa Bay.
Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber drove in runs for the defending NL champion Phillies. Philadelphia has lost five of six.
Cowser entered as a defensive replacement for Aaron Hicks in the third inning after Hicks was hurt making a diving catch. The Orioles led 2-1 in the eighth when Castellanos lined a two-out single to center with runners on first and second. Schwarber scored easily from second, and Bryce Harper tried to put Philadelphia ahead by reaching home from first base. But shortstop Jorge Mateo took Cowser’s throw and fired home to catcher James McCann, whose tag in Harper’s chest just got him before his hand touched the plate.
“We did a lot of good things defensively,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Enormous play.”
“Huge,” Cowser said.
After Gunnar Henderson walked with one out and went to second on a wild pitch in the ninth, Cowser lined a double to left off Craig Kimbrel (6-2) that went off the glove of diving left fielder Schwarber.
“Felt really good,” Cowser said.
Bryan Baker (4-3) was on the mound for Castellanos’ hit and was credited with the victory.
Cionel Pérez pitched out of trouble in the ninth for his first save.
“They're all frustrating,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “You want to win every game.”
Westburg put Baltimore in front 1-0 in the second with a solo shot. The opposite-field drive to right on a 1-0, 90 mph sinker was the first career home run for Westburg, a 2020 first-round pick who made his big-league debut June 26.
The Phillies tied it in the fifth on Schwarber’s sacrifice fly before the Orioles went back in front in the sixth on Mountcastle’s one-out homer to center.
After playing a pair of games at first base in a weekend series at Cleveland for his first action in the field since last April, Harper was back at DH to begin the three-game series. He had two hits. Thomson said prior to the contest that Harper would play first base on Tuesday. The two-time NL MVP made a spectacular catch, landing in the camera well, against the Guardians on Friday night in his first-ever game at first base.
Philadelphia shortstop Trea Turner made a pair of fielding errors before getting ejected in the fifth inning by home-plate umpire Will Little for arguing a called third strike. The 30-year-old is in the first season of an 11-year, $300 million free-agent deal he signed in the offseason. He now has 12 errors in 98 games.
Harper defended Turner afterward.
“He is one of the best players in the league for a reason,” Harper said. “He will get going. We trust in him to be the best. He'll do that.”
Orioles right-hander Dean Kremer allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks in seven innings.
Cristopher Sánchez gave up two runs on four hits in seven innings to lower his ERA to 2.97 in eight starts. The 26-year-old struck out a career-high eight and walked none.
RING FOR GIBSON
Phillies owner John Middleton and team president David Dombrowski presented Orioles right-hander Kyle Gibson with his National League championship ring in a pregame ceremony. Gibson helped Philadelphia reach the World Series last season when he went 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 31 starts.
Orioles: Hicks left the game with a left hamstring cramp after a diving catch of Johan Rojas’ liner. Replays showed that Hicks actually dropped the ball, but the Phillies did not challenge the umpires’ call on the field. Thomson said the Phillies didn't get see the replay of the drop until after the allotted time to challenge the play. Hyde said Hicks will be reevaluated on Tuesday.
Phillies: Right-handed reliever Seranthony Domínguez (left oblique strain) struck out the side in a scoreless inning at Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
Philadelphia RHP Taijuan Walker (11-4, 4.11 ERA) opposes Gibson (9-6, 4.76) on Tuesday night in the second contest of the three-game series.