Phillies vs. Pirates: Kyle Gibson wins his debut as Phils' offense explodes

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Phils beat up bad Pirates pitching and debuting Gibson does what he was acquired to do originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies’ offense took advantage of inferior Pirates pitching and debuting Kyle Gibson did exactly what he was acquired to do, delivering 6⅔ quality innings in a 15-4 win over the Pirates.

The Phils scored in seven different innings and had 20 hits. They had nine doubles in a game for the first time since 1986. They had one extra-base hit total the previous two nights, both losses.

It should be noted that the four Pirates pitchers they faced (excluding a position player in the ninth) have allowed a combined 84 earned runs in 94 innings this season for an 8.04 ERA. Still, this is what you have to do to bad teams.

A Phillie for 48 hours, Gibson was efficient and induced weak contact in all innings other than the third -- when he walked the opposing pitcher with two outs and let him score before stranding the bases loaded -- and the seventh.

Gibson is not a top-of-the-rotation piece but he is steady and can be relied upon to complete six innings, which he’s done in 15 of 20 starts this season. That’s nearly double the length the Phillies had received lately from Vince Velasquez, Matt Moore and Spencer Howard, who was traded to Texas for Gibson.

Bryce Harper doubled three times, a good sign after he grimaced during his first-inning at-bat. He appeared to still be feeling the impact of running into the right-field wall Friday and hurting his rib cage/side.

J.T. Realmuto went 5 for 6 and drove in four runs. Jean Segura had two doubles and drove in three. 

Didi Gregorius began August by driving in three runs with a three-hit day. He hit .163 in July and had an on-base percentage of .258 entering Sunday. The Phillies badly need him to get hot for a few weeks to give them a second threatening lefty bat to go with Harper.

"New month," manager Joe Girardi said. "Get rid of July, forget July, concentrate on August. As players, you have to have that ability to earn your pay. We've all been there, we've all had bad months. He got off to a good start."

The Phillies are banged up again. They were without Rhys Hoskins for a third straight game after he suffered a groin injury Thursday. Andrew McCutchen was out after injuring his left knee and leaving Saturday’s game late. It is the same knee he had surgically repaired in 2019.

Girardi said McCutchen underwent an MRI Sunday but did not yet know the severity of the injury or whether it would require a stint on the injured list. He will miss multiple games. Girardi said Hoskins would be ready sooner than McCutchen but that doesn’t necessarily mean Hoskins will be ready to start Monday.

The Phils are 52-53 as they head to Washington to play a stripped-down Nationals team. The Nats traded away Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Brad Hand, Daniel Hudson, Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison this week.

The Mets lost to the Reds Sunday so the Phillies are 3½ games back again. They’ve been between 3½ and 4½ games back every day since July 21.

The Mets, who are without Jacob deGrom until at least September, have let the Phillies and Braves hang around. So far, neither team has been able to capitalize. All three teams have identical 8-9 records since the All-Star break.

The Phils move on to D.C., where Ranger Suarez makes his first start of the season Monday. New closer Ian Kennedy, who replaces Suarez, also made his Phillies debut in this one, giving up two runs in the ninth inning.

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