Turner’s downfall continues but he remains optimistic as Phillies head to LA

HOUSTON — Trea Turner had a chance late Sunday night to tie the game or put the Phillies ahead of the Astros, but the plummeting shortstop couldn’t pass.

It was one of three different innings where the Phillies blocked two runners in a 4-3 loss.

Just 6 for 42 (.143) in his last 10 games with 14 strikeouts, Turner struck out on four in the seventh inning with two out, two out and the Phillies were down two runs.

Manager Rob Thomson spoke to Turner on Saturday night about having him sit out on Sunday, but Turner wants to play through his cold spell.

“The timing just isn’t right,” Turner said. “I thought the swing the last two days was better, but I wasn’t able to incorporate into the game what I worked on in the cage. Just the recognition of the pitch, the problem areas, still not there, but I feel the swing is improving so that’s a positive.

“But yeah, I haven’t been good. I know the kind of player I am and where I can improve and I just haven’t played at my level. I don’t care about outside stuff, I ai I have high expectations of myself and I just haven’t been good. It’s as simple as that.

Turner didn’t look or sound like a defeated man in the clubhouse postgame. He was optimistic and honest while acknowledging that things hadn’t clicked for him yet as Phillie.

He doesn’t want to sit out, but could he benefit from a game in Los Angeles?

“I like to play. Unless I’m in pain and need it physically, there’s no excuse not to play because you’re not playing well,” he said. “That’s how I feel. I’ve told my managers in the past, I told Rob yesterday that I’m never going to ask for a day off, you have to bench me. So if he thinks that I stink and want to bench, it’s on him, but for me, if I’m able to play, I want to play.”

Thomson does not plan to seat Turner in the Dodgers series.

JT Realmuto, who homered earlier in the game, came out in fourth and lined up in sixth with two men on board in each spot.

The Phils still won the series, their fourth in a row, and finished April with a 15-14 record.

“I thought it was a great show,” Thomson said. “Two very good teams and we played well.”

Bailey Falter suffered the loss and is 0-5 with a 5.01 ERA. His night began ominously. He loaded the bases with no one on one and two walks. The game could have gone away quickly from the Phillies, but Falter forced a 6-4-3 double-bat off Jose Abreu, who had a rocky and helpless start to his career with the Astros.

While escaping major damage in the first frame, Falter put the first man on base four out of five times and had no easy innings.

Better Phillies defense in the second inning could have prevented a run. David Hensley started by fielding a ball to the deep left center and Brandon Marsh followed it but couldn’t keep it in his glove on a slide. There was a bit of a misunderstanding over the game between Marsh and Kyle Schwarber, who was mic during the inning. You could hear the conversation between the two outfielders, with Schwarber saying he didn’t call him.

Soft contact ended Falter’s night in the fifth when Yordan Alvarez dribbled a ball to third base for a single and Kyle Tucker blooped in an RBI single.

“It’s a tough formation for a southpaw to get through because even their two southpaws (Alvarez and Tucker) hit southpaws,” Thomson said. “I think he just grinded and grinded and grinded… the walks hurt him.”

Offensively, the Phils weren’t fooled by right-hander Jose Urquidy, they just couldn’t take it. parks – but that was it until a run fell on an eighth inning error by third baseman Alex Bregman. The Phillies had five line pitches in the first six innings and all five were caught.

The Clemens homer was his third in his last four games. He is driven in a race in the four. Thomson went with him to the DH spot Sunday night over Jake Cave because he likes what he’s seen of Clemens lately and thought his swing would play well against Urquidy. Game time for Clemens and Cave will decrease when Bryce Harper returns to the DH spot, which could be Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Once again, the bullpen kept the game close. Connor Brogdon, Gregory Soto and Luis Ortiz combined for 4⅔ scoreless innings. The Phillies featherweight has an ERA of 0.81 over the last 14 games. Soto’s opponents are 1 for 36 in his last 11 outings, hitting 0.031/0.139/0.031.

The Phillies are yet to sweep a series but have won their fourth in a row in Houston. Now they’re up against the Dodgers 16-13, who are still great but not the offensive team they’ve been for the past few seasons. They’re led by Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith, and the streaky Max Muncy already has 11 homers and 21 walks, but the bottom half of the roster lacks depth.

Taijuan Walker begins the series opener Monday night against Tony Gonsolin.

Matt Strahm kicks off the game from midfield against southpaw Julio Urias.

Aaron Nola will play in the series finale on Wednesday as the Dodgers have yet to name a starter.

“Another tough series ahead of us,” Turner said. “Just keep winning playoffs and it’ll turn around and we’ve done that. We’re not sweeping people but we’re playing good baseball against good teams. Kind of a slow start but I think the last two, three weeks, we played well.”

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