Phillies opening day: Aaron Nola unravels after Phillies jump on Jacob deGrom
Phillies jump on deGrom but can't hold Rangers down in high-scoring loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Phillies jumped on Jacob deGrom Thursday afternoon, spoiling his Rangers debut by scoring five times to chase him in the fourth inning.
Then they gave it all away.
The Phils lost their season opener in Texas, 11-7. Leading by five, they gave up nine runs in the fourth inning. Aaron Nola was charged with five and left-handed reliever Gregory Soto gave up four in his Phillies debut.
The Phillies briefly got back into the game with a run in the fifth inning but the Rangers answered with two more on Connor Brogdon and that was all she wrote.
Nola retired 9 of the first 10 batters he faced before things fell apart in the fourth inning. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out and the next two swings were loud: a Jonah Heim two-run double and a Robbie Grossman three-run homer.
This was Nola's sixth straight opening day start and by far his worst. He had a 3.38 ERA in the prior five. Thursday was the first time in his career he's been unable to hold on to a lead of at least five runs.
Soto walked two and allowed two hits without recording an out. He threw just eight strikes in 19 pitches. He was a big part of the Phillies' offseason, coming over from the Tigers in a trade that sent Matt Vierling and Nick Maton to Detroit, where Soto had spent the majority of the last two seasons as closer.
Offensively, there was a lot to like about the Phillies. Trea Turner legged out a triple for his first hit with the team, part of back-to-back triples off of deGrom with Brandon Marsh. Marsh also doubled.
Alec Bohm, who showed up to camp with significantly more muscle, followed a powerful spring with a great day at the plate. He hit a two-run homer off of deGrom in the second inning, doubled off of deGrom in the fourth and singled in a run in the fifth. He won't be staying in the seven-hole for long if he keeps swinging like this.
J.T. Realmuto and Nick Castellanos also had multi-hit games. The Phillies’ six extra-base hits off of deGrom were the most he's ever allowed. But it wasn't enough.
The Phils have lost 10 consecutive games to the Rangers. After an off-day Friday, they look to snap that streak and pick up their first win of 2023 when Zack Wheeler opposes Nate Eovaldi.