PHILADELPHIA – Rhys Hoskins has a knack for hitting home runs when the Phillies need it most.
For the second straight game, Hoskins gave the Phillies the lead for good with a home run Monday night.
In fact, Hoskins hit two solo home runs to propel the Phillies to a 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals before 28,212 fans at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies (7-2) have won two straight and are 3-1 in the current six-game home stand.
Hoskins’ first home run came in the sixth inning with the score tied. The right-handed Hoskins lofted a 3-2 curveball from Nationals starter Anibal Sanchez 363 feet into the left-field stands. It was the 25th time since the start of last season that Hoskins has hit a home run to either tie the game or give the Phillies the lead.
Hoskins’s second home run gave the Phillies a much-needed insurance run and a 4-2 lead in the eighth.
The first baseman has homered in three straight games. A Hoskins’ home run was the difference in the Phillies 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Despite his success in the clutch, Hoskins doesn’t feel like he must produce at all costs in the Phillies lineup.
“There’s a ton of confidence knowing in those situations, if I can keep my heart beat down and treat it like any other at-bat, good things will happen,” he said. “If I don’t get it done, there’s an All-Star behind me and there’s an All-Star behind him. That part makes you pretty comfortable in the box.”
Hoskins now has 15 RBIs in nine games. He knocked in 96 runs last year.
“You always want to do better than the previous year,” Hoskins said. “I knew I was going to have a ton of opportunity with the guys hitting in front of me and their track record of getting on base.”
Another sign of Hoskins’ ability to hit in the clutch is his success in hitting with full counts.
In addition to his first home run Monday, his home run Sunday came on 3-2 pitch.
Hoskins is 3 for 8 in 3-2 counts this season with two home runs, seven RBIs and four walks.
In 2018, Hoskins batted .223 (21 for 94) with 35 walks in 3-2 counts, but he hit seven home runs – more than he did in any other count.