Phils’ Turner answers boos with clutch HR in 9th

MLB

PHILADELPHIA — Trea Turner had a good reason to be able to handle the Philly boos aimed at the scuffling shortstop after chasing two balls in the dirt and striking out in the seventh inning.

Philly fans can’t bring the heat like mom can from home.

“She told me today she was booing me,” Turner said with a laugh.

Donna Turner might fit in faster among Phillies fans than Turner has with the team in his first season in the Philadelphia lineup.

Turner eventually made mom proud when he tied Wednesday’s game with a two-run homer in the ninth inning, and Alec Bohm hit the winning single in the 10th to rally the Phillies from five runs down in a 6-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Turner delivered his first highlight-reel hit for the Phillies when he connected to left field off reliever Jose Ruiz (1-1) with two outs, tying the game at 5. Turner has been mired in a brutal slump that forced the $300-million shortstop to say this week: “I’ve sucked.”

Phillies fans booed Turner off the field in the seventh inning after a particularly ugly at-bat in which he wasn’t even close to connecting on two swings on balls in the dirt. He struck out and was 0-for-4 — and 2-for-20 on the homestand.

“She texted me and said good game except for that fourth at-bat,” Turner said.

All was forgiven in the ninth.

Bryson Stott hit a two-out single to center off Ruiz that set the stage for Turner to deliver his biggest blast for his new team. Turner hit a go-ahead grand slam that lifted the United States over Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic semifinals that only raised expectations in Philly after he signed as a free agent. Instead, it’s been two months of anemic swings and stats, like the 0-for-22 skid with runners in scoring position he snapped on Monday.

“Obviously, I’m a better player than I’ve played the last little bit,” Turner said.

Ruiz stayed in the game for the 10th and walked two to load the bases with the automatic runner. Bohm lofted one to right that landed on the warning track and scored Dalton Guthrie, helping the Phillies avoid a three-game sweep.

Craig Kimbrel (3-1) worked the 10th for the win.

Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer and Emmanuel Rivera drove in three runs for the Diamondbacks.

“This game will rip your heart out,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.

The NL champion Phillies have won only three of 10 games as they head into a pivotal stretch of the season. Philadelphia improved to 23-27, and only the Washington Nationals have a worse record in the NL East.

The Phillies start a four-game series Thursday at NL East-leading Atlanta and then play three at Citi Field against the second-place Mets. The Phillies suddenly need to win those series if they want to make a serious run at the division.

Oddly enough, the Phillies have yet to play either the Mets or Braves.

Getting some decent starting pitching would help against their rivals.

Ranger Suárez was hit hard in his third straight start since returning from a strained left elbow. His ERA is a gnarly 9.82 and he has yet to pitch beyond the fifth inning.

Getting Turner to finally come alive at the plate could help even more.

The two-time All-Star hit .300 with 192 steals in six-plus seasons with the Nationals, winning the World Series in 2019. He won a batting title after he was traded to the Dodgers in 2021 and hit .298 with 21 homers, 101 runs and a career-high 100 RBIs last year in Los Angeles. He posted all the numbers needed for the Phillies to sign him to the 11-year, $300 million deal.

The Phillies had seen only glimpses of the All-Star caliber form.

“Maybe that’s his signature moment that gets him going here,” manger Rob Thomson said. “Sometimes it’s tough for guys to come in, big contract, try to impress his teammates, fan base. He just keeps grinding, keeps working at it.”

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