Castellanos powers Phillies to 8-4 win over Blue Jays
PHILADELPHIA - Nick Castellanos went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-4 on Tuesday night.
Aaron Nola (3-2) allowed two runs on five hits over six innings to win his third straight decision. Brandon Marsh had a two-run double in the eighth inning and Alec Bohm had two hits for the Phillies, who have won two straight after snapping a six-game skid.
"We had great at-bats tonight and overall, played an outstanding game in all facets," Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. "Our baserunning was excellent. All in all, I thought we had a great game."
Bo Bichette hit his eighth homer of the season for Toronto, which had swept a three-game set at Pittsburgh over the weekend.
"We were one hit away and it seems like that a little bit for the first part of the year here," Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. "But they got good pitchers and we were one at-bat and one swing short tonight."
Alek Manoah (1-3) allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings, throwing 94 pitches and getting only three swing-and-miss strikes.
"I feel like they extended at-bats and I threw seven pitches to every hitter," Manoah said. "I tried to compete as well as I could and get the offense out there, but they did a good job extending at-bats and not going after the chase pitches."
Castellanos struggled in the first year of his five-year, $100 million contract with Philadelphia in 2022. His batting average dropped from .309 in 2021 with Cincinnati to .263, and he hit only 13 homers a year after hitting 34.
He has looked like his old self thus far this year. His batting average (.317) and slugging and on-base percentages are up substantially.
"I think I'm in a good spot right now and not thinking too much," Castellanos said. "I'm having fun right now in the game. And when that happens, the game usually becomes easier for me."
Castellanos turned on a fourth-inning fastball from Manoah and deposited it just inside the left-field foul pole for his fifth homer of the season, a two-run shot that put Philadelphia ahead 2-1.
Bryson Stott, Trea Turner, J.T. Realmuto and Edmundo Sosa also drove in runs for the Phillies.
Nola had experienced a season low in velocity during his last start against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, but hit a season-high 95 mph several times on Tuesday night.
"My command was better than it was in the last several outings," Nola said. "It felt good out of my hand, felt behind it and got on top of it."
Added Castellanos: "He's one of our horses and if he can eat up those innings, it really helps the Phillies."
Kevin Kiermaier had two hits and scored twice for Toronto.
Blue Jays: OF George Springer was not in the lineup with a viral illness. He pinch-hit for Daulton Varsho in the seventh inning and struck out. ... RHP Adam Cimber threw a bullpen session Tuesday as he recovers from a right rhomboid strain that placed him on the injured list on April 24.
Phillies: OF Kyle Schwarber left the game with a left foot contusion after he fouled a ball off it in the sixth inning. X-rays were negative. He will be re-evaluated on Wednesday. ... RHP Jose Alvarado was not available after experiencing tightness in his left wrist during pre-game warmups. ... RHP Ranger Suarez will make his first major league start of 2023 this weekend in Colorado, Thomson said. Suarez — projected as Philadelphia's No. 3 starter — has been sidelined since the last week of spring training with a left elbow strain.
The teams wrap up their two-game series on Wednesday. The Phillies will start RHP Zack Wheeler (3-2, 4.26 ERA) against Toronto RHP Kevin Gausman (2-3, 3.86).