Phillies vs. Rangers: Alec Bohm’s defense costs Phils again

Alec Bohm continues to hit, but his defense cost the Phillies dearly on Tuesday in a 6-4 loss to the visiting Texas Rangers.

Bohm, who had converted 41 straight defensive opportunities since his three-error game against the Mets on April 11, was unable to make two plays in the Rangers’ decisive three-run sixth inning. The first was ruled an error, the second an infield single. He was indecisive in the first and double clutches in both, resulting in both runners barely crossing first base safely.

“You see the score. It made us lose the game,” Bohm said afterward.

Seranthony Dominguez relieved outfielder Suarez in that sixth inning and was on his way to escape the jam with the game tied, but allowed a two-out, two-run double to pinch hitter Zach Reks. Another run was scored when Bohm was unable to shoot to first base on Marcus Semien’s soft grounder. All three were undeserved.

Any loss hurts, but this one was hard. The Rangers entered the night six games under .500 and lost more than 70 percent of their road games a season ago. They also got just three innings from their starting pitcher and gifted the Phillies two early runs when Nick Solak misplayed a Rhys Hoskins ball that turned into a first-inning double en route to an early Phillies lead.

Bohm has been hitting since opening day and bounced back defensively after that nightmarish game three weeks ago. Could that experience make this one easier to get through?

“Tonight is hard, it hurts. Tomorrow the sun will rise,” he said. “I have to find a way to get over it before 6:45 tomorrow, come back and play another game.”

The Phillies got their chance in the seventh inning with runners on second and third and no outs, trailing three runs. Kyle Schwarber popped up behind second base, then Bohm and Bryce Harper struck out to quell the threat.

JT Realmuto’s solo homer in the eighth inning brought the Phils closer but stopped the scoring there.

Given the difficulty of the Phillies’ May schedule (their next 33 games after the Rangers face teams with a combined 115-76 record), they needed to clean up Texas this week.

Suarez’s night

Suarez has had to work much harder in his starts this season. After averaging 15.5 pitches per inning as a starter in 2021, he has hit 18.0 per inning this season.

Suarez was beaten by the long ball Tuesday, giving up a two-out, two-run homer to Mitch Garver in the first inning and a solo shot to Jonah Heim in the fourth. He passed between those two bombs, but caught too much home plate on off-speed pitches to Garver and Heim.

“When he made mistakes, they were big mistakes,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Suárez got out of a jam in the fifth inning, putting the first two men on base and loading the bases with two outs. He got out of there on a fly ball from Garver.

Girardi sent Suarez back for the sixth inning on 86 pitches and the left-hander gave up a single to Heim before Bohm’s error on a ground ball by left-hander Nathaniel Lowe. That ended the night for Suarez, who has a 4.63 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP in five starts.

Another lineup change

Girardi moved Schwarber back into the leadoff spot after the left-handed slugger hit .279 with a .404 OBP, six home runs and 13 RBIs in 13 games hitting fifth or sixth. It looks like the top spot is where Schwarber will be staying for the foreseeable future.

The trade paid no immediate dividends as Schwarber went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.

Girardi also moved Bohm to the second hole and the third baseman responded with a single and a double. Bohm leads the Phillies in batting average (.322) and on-base percentage (.380).

“He’s been playing really well. It’s one night. You’ve got to keep going,” Girardi said of Bohm’s defense.

“You just cheer him on and make sure he does his job. He’s shown he can respond pretty well, so I hope he does it again.”

Castellanos out of the team

Nick Castellanos was removed from Tuesday’s lineup because his wife, Jess, went into labor. The Phillies didn’t put him on the paternity list because with Double-A Reading in Portland and Triple-A Lehigh Valley in Syracuse, they couldn’t get someone to South Philly in time.

Odubel Herrera was also scratched an hour before the start of the game due to allergies. He pinch-hit in the ninth. Roman Quinn started in center field with Matt Vierling in right.

Harper update coming?

Harper served as designated hitter for the 14th consecutive game due to soreness in his right forearm/elbow area. Harper was scheduled to see the Phillies’ team doctor after Tuesday’s game, which could mean an update on Wednesday.

Until next time

The Phillies and Rangers wrap up the two-game series on Wednesday night at 6:45.

Zack Wheeler (1-3, 5.79) opposes veteran southpaw Martin Perez (0-2, 3.00).

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