If we’re all being honest, there’s a good chance a lot of people didn’t even know that Brandon Phillips, the veteran infielder and ex-Cincinnati Reds star, was playing for the Boston Red Sox. But you do know. He made sure of that.
Phillips, 37, spent all of his 2018 season in the minor leagues, earning a call-up this week when MLB rosters expanded. For Phillips, who signed with the Red Sox in June, it was a chance to prove himself again at the big-league level. And it was his first big-league action since Sept. 30, 2017.
He played in his first game Wednesday for Boston — and wouldn’t you know, he came through with the storybook ending.
Brandon Phillips’ improbable homer
With the Red Sox trailing the Atlanta Braves 8-7 in the ninth inning with two outs, Phillips came to the plate with a runner on base. He hadn’t gotten a hit all day, but had walked twice and scored two runs. That was all just the appetizer for him hammering a two-run, go-ahead homer into the left-field seats.
It was his first homer in the big leagues since Sept. 24, 2017, when he was with the Los Angeles Angels. Think it felt good? Just look at his reaction.
That was the difference-maker right there. The Red Sox shut down the Braves in the bottom of the ninth to earn a series sweep over the NL East leaders.
Boston’s comeback was one-of-a-kind this season
Boston trailed the Braves 7-1 coming into the eighth inning. In the eighth, though, they put up six runs — one of which was Phillips scoring after his walk. The Braves went ahead again in the bottom of the eighth, which set the stage for Phillips’ go-ahead homer.
This was, according to ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi, the first time this season a team has come back from a six-run deficit that late in the game. It was also Boston’s biggest comeback win of the year.
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) September 5, 2018
Even if that’s all Phillips ever does for the Red Sox, he’s probably already a Boston legend.
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