The Philadelphia Phillies opened their four-game set against the Houston Astros on Thursday night with a 6-4 loss. The Phils were making a bid for their eighth straight win and were well on their way until the duo of Phillippe Aumont and Jacob Diekman imploded in the bottom of the eighth. The Astros put a three-spot on the board to turn a one-run deficit into a two run lead. Wilton Lopez came on for Houston in the top of the ninth to clean things up and preserve the two-run Houston victory.
The Phillies offense got to Houston starter Lucas Harrell early on, posting a three-spot in the third inning for a 4-0 lead. Charlie Manuel's lineup strung together four hits and took advantage of an error by Jimmy Paredes to plate three. Ryan Howard, John Mayberry, and Kevin Frandsen all drove in runs during the rally. But the lineup would go quiet after that, handing things over to pitcher Tyler Cloyd and the bullpen.
Cloyd was chased in the third inning, surrendering a three-run rally that put the Astros right back in it. Justin Maxwell and Jason Castro led off the inning with back-to-back singles and Matt Dominguez stepped into the box and promptly crushed a three-run bomb to left. That would end Cloyd's night, and the bullpen held the one-run lead until the implosion in the eighth.
The loss puts the Phillies 3.5 games back from the second Wild Card, and they'll turn to Cole Hamels on Friday night to try and start another winning streak.
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