PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Known as much for his infectious enthusiasm as much as he is for playing a sharp third base, Edmundo Sosa likes to remind everyone that, yes, he can hit, too.
Sosa drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a single misplayed by Colorado left fielder Jurickson Profar, Kyle Schwarber hit a tying solo homer and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied for a 4-3 win over the Rockies on Friday night.
Brad Hand (0-1) started the night by receiving his 2022 NL championship ring from the Phillies and ended it by taking the loss for the Rockies.
J.T. Realmuto led off the eighth with a double off Hand and stole third base. Hand retired the next two batters and got Sosa to loft one to left that Profar took a bad route on and he trapped the ball on a bounce. Realmuto scored to complete the Phillies’ rally from a 3-0 hole in the first inning.
Sosa went 1 for 3 and is batting .333 (he missed the last four games with a back injury) after hitting .315 for the Phillies last season after he was acquired from the Cardinals in July. He also made a leaping snag in the ninth to rob C.J. Cron of a hit.
“He’s an elite defender,” manager Rob Thomson said. “He’s not chasing as much as he did when he first got here. He’s keeping his head still and he’s becoming an offensive force.”
Aaron Nola tossed seven strong innings for the Phillies. Seranthony Domínguez (1-1) worked a scoreless eighth for the win and José Alvarado tossed a scoreless ninth for this third save.
Kyle Schwarber, last year’s NL home run champion, tied it at 3 in the seventh inning with a solo shot off reliever Dinelson Lamet into the right field seats, and the Rockies were on their way to the ninth loss in the last 10 games.
Nola and the Phillies broke off contract extension talks in the spring. Nola is scheduled to become a free agent in the offseason and wanted to focus his efforts on this season before picking up talks again in the winter. Nola, who turns 30 in June, will make $16 million this year after the Phillies picked up the option in what ended up a $56.75 million deal over five years.
Nola scuffled a bit over his first four starts this season and has yet to allow less than three run in any of his outings. Sure enough, he gave up three in the first on Ryan McMahon’s fourth homer of the year. Nola allowed back-to-back singles that set up McMahon’s blast to deep center for the 3-0 lead.
Nola, who tied Hall of Famer Jim Bunning for ninth on the team’s career starts list with 208, settled down after the homer and struck out three in seven innings.
“We’ve got a really good lineup, we know that,” Nola said. “It’s just a matter of time for the ball to start to falling. Schwarb had a big homer. Some good plays in the field. Good base hits. Good team win.”
The Phillies tagged Rockies starter Noah Davis for two in the fourth, but could have scored much more.
Philadelphia loaded the bases when Davis hit Realmuto with a pitch. The pitch appeared to skim past Realmuto, and Rockies manager Bud Black erupted on plate umpire Alex Tosi and was ejected. Tosi then balked home a run and Jake Cave’s check-swing infield single made it 3-2.
Davis struck out five over 4 2/3 innings in his second major-league start.
“I was impressed by Noah, how he hung in there,” Black said. “He continued to make pitch after pitch. There was a balk in there. But it was some aggressive baserunning that got him.
Phillies: OF Bryce Harper took live batting practice against former first-round pick Jeff Hoffman. … RHP Nick Nelson (left hamstring strain) is scheduled to pitch two innings Saturday in a rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater. … RHP Andrew Painter (right UCL sprain) threw at 60 feet on Friday.
With heavy rain in the forecast, the start time of Saturday’s game was moved up one hour to 3:05 p.m.
The Rockies send LHP Kyle Freeland (2-1, 3.80 ERA) to the mound against Phillies LHP Cristopher Sanchez. Sanchez will make his first start of the season after he spent all season on the IL with a left triceps strain.