PHOENIX — Gabe Kapler took a calculated gamble Monday night. And although both he and the Phillies lost, the manager insists he would do it all again.
With the Phillies leading by two runs in the eighth inning, Kapler lifted leftfielder Rhys Hoskins and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera for defensive replacements. It was a move that many managers would've made in a similar situation. But when the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied to tie the score in the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies didn't have two of their best hitters for extra innings in what turned out to be a 14-inning, 3-2 loss.
"The risk is there, but it's small," Kapler said. "It's an unlikely scenario."
Until recently, the Phillies' bench wasn't deep enough for Kapler to think about replacing Hoskins, in particular. But after the call-up of defensively superior Roman Quinn, Kapler has options with a late lead. Likewise, the Phillies prefer Scott Kingery's defense at shortstop over Cabrera.
"We're playing for the win," Kapler said. "The thought process is we get an upgraded defense, and if they happen to tie the game, they tie the game. And if they do tie the game, we have an offensive weapon in Quinn in that spot. You make that trade-off because it's the right baseball decision."
The Phillies had a chance to tack on runs in the top of the ninth, but Andrew Knapp grounded into a rally-killing double play after back-to-back singles by Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco. Between the 10th inning and the 14th, the Phillies were held hitless. Quinn went 0-for-1 with a walk, while Kingery finished 0-for-2.
Rookie lefty Austin Davis grew up in nearby Scottsdale and had a boisterous rooting section along the right-field line for his first visit to Chase Field as a major-league relief pitcher. But Davis' friends and family left disappointed after he gave up David Peralta's walk-off home run in the 14th inning of a 4-hour, 38-minute marathon.
The loss snapped the Phillies' five-game winning streak and spoiled another terrific start by Jake Arrieta, who blanked the Diamondbacks for eight innings. Seranthony Dominguez gave up two runs in the ninth inning to blow his second save in as many games.
"Losing a game just stinks, really," Arrieta said. "But two first-place teams going at it, and it's no easy task to score a couple of runs off Seranthony and the guys that came in behind him. Credit them for sticking with it."
Arrieta has a 2.28 ERA over his last seven starts. He was in complete control in a duel with Diamondbacks starter Zack Godley. The Phillies broke through for two runs in the seventh inning on a mellifluous rally that was fueled when Asdrubal Cabrera scored on a triple by Odubel Herrera.
In need of another arm after Monday night's marathon, the Phillies recalled righthander Enyel De Los Santos from triple-A Lehigh Valley and optioned outfielder Dylan Cozens, a move that left them with only three players on the bench. That situation could be resolved as early as Wednesday if the Phillies elect to activate infielder J.P. Crawford from the disabled list.
Crawford has been on a minor-league rehab assignment at high-A Clearwater as he returns from a broken left hand.
"In our minds, our plan was that we could use him [Wednesday] if we needed to," Kapler said. "But we could also push it beyond the off-day [Thursday] and see where we stand at that point."