The Phillies nearly let one slip away before earning a tense overtime win

The Phillies nearly gave away a game they led by three runs with four outs to go, but managed to pull it off in extra innings, beating the Diamondbacks 4-3 on Wednesday night.

At 34-34, they hit 0.500 for the first time since they were 20-20 a month and a day ago.

Ranger Suarez pitched seven scoreless innings – his fourth consecutive great start – and put the ball back in the bullpen. All four of Seranthony Dominguez, Gregory Soto, Craig Kimbrel and Jose Alvarado were available for the final two rounds and it’s a good thing they were as they were all used in high stress situations.

Dominguez hooked a slider over the heart of the plate to allow a two-out, two-strike, three-run home run to tie Christian Walker in the bottom of the eighth. Evan Longoria followed with a single down the middle and Dominguez lifted for southpaw Soto, who walked Ketel Marte and then forced a first-pitch, innings-ending groundout.

Craig Kimbrel worked around a two-out double in the ninth to send the game to extras, where the Phillies scored a run through another Arizona outfield snafu. Trea Turner threw a ball into shallow right field, where right fielder Jake McCarthy and second baseman Geraldo Perdomo collided. Neither caught the ball and that put the runners in second and third place. It was first ruled a double for Turner but changed to an error on McCarthy. Nick Castellanos hit a sacrifice fly for what turned out to be the winning run.

Jose Alvarado came in in the bottom of the 10th with the auto-runner at second base and grounded, walked, struckout, groundout to end the tense game.

The Phillies have won two of their first three games in Arizona and nine of their last 11 games overall.

JT Realmuto had a monster streak in the desert. He hit for the cycle on Monday, added another double, triple and three-run on Tuesday, then threw a solo homer to left field Wednesday night. Realmuto is a streaky hitter, but this season has been particularly streaky. He had hit 0.116 in his previous 21 games, 0.386 in the previous 16.

The Realmuto homer was the Phillies’ third run. They scored their first two on ground fieldball single picks at shortstop with runners in the corners and less than two outs in the second and third innings.

Suarez is on a roll. He has a 1.35 ERA in his last four starts and has pitched 7, 7, 6⅔ and 6 innings. The Phillies are 5-2 in Suarez starts and 9-5 behind Taijuan Walker. A 14-7 record from the middle of the rotation is a big win and the Phillies need them to continue performing at this level to help make up for the lack of a fifth starter.

Arizona’s four-game series ends Thursday afternoon. Aaron Nola (5-5, 4.60) starts against 25-year-old right-hander Ryne Nelson (3-3, 4.95).

Nelson shut down the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 23, allowing a six-inning run. He’s been hit hard in his next two starts but is coming off a scoreless performance in Detroit.

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