Ranger Suárez suffers his first loss as the Phillies fall to the Rockies, 5-2

Philadelphia Phillies

DENVER — It was only fitting that a bizarre series would end with a bizarre start from Ranger Suárez. The left-handed pitcher entered Sunday’s game with a 1.36 ERA and a record of 9-0 but was uncharacteristically wild through his first two innings of the Phillies’ 5-2 loss to the Rockies.

In the bottom of the first, he allowed a single to Brendan Rodgers and a two-run home run to Ryan McMahon. He allowed two walks in the second inning, an RBI double to Hunter Goodman, another walk, and a fielder’s choice to Rodgers that scored a run. An unearned run scored on a throwing error by Alec Bohm and the Phillies trailed 5-0.

Suárez allowed a fourth walk in the next at-bat. His four walks tied his career high for most in a start (Sept. 21, 2023, in St. Louis). But then, in the third inning, he suddenly turned things around. Suárez retired Kris Bryant, Brenton Doyle, and Sean Bouchard on a strikeout, a line out, and a strikeout.

At the beginning of the fourth inning, Elehuris Montero hit an 110-mph liner toward the mound that missed Suárez’s head by only an inch or two. Bryson Stott caught it for the first out of the frame, but Suárez stayed on the ground for a few seconds.

He was checked out by the training staff and proceeded to retire his next eight hitters, five of them on strikeouts. Suárez finished his day with nine.

It was an impressive turnaround and an important one, given the state of the Phillies’ bullpen. Any one of the Phillies’ starters could go seven innings on a given night, but manager Rob Thomson did not get that kind length from them in this series. He used long man Spencer Turnbull on Saturday night, so he was unavailable on Sunday.

But thanks to Suárez’s outing, Thomson needed to use two only relievers: Orion Kerkering and Seranthony Domínguez, both of whom pitched a scoreless inning.

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The offense did not rally the way it had the night before. The Phillies were held to just two runs on five hits, with seven strikeouts. Brandon Marsh was the only player who recorded multiple hits, going 2-for-2 with a walk. J.T. Realmuto hit a single in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 15 straight games.

It was a puzzling outcome, not only because of the hitter-friendly ballpark the Phillies were playing in, but also because of the caliber of pitching they were facing. Starter Cal Quantrill has thrown well this season, but the Rockies’ bullpen is one of the worst in baseball, combining for a league-high 5.10 ERA.

But the Phillies couldn’t find any offensive rhythm against them and suffered their second loss in three games. The series loss against Colorado ended a streak of 15 consecutive series which the Phillies had either won or tied.

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