CINCINNATI -- Last year, when the Phillies came here for four games, Scott Kingery heard all about what it's like to hit at homer-friendly Great American Ball Park.
"I can't remember who told me this," he recalled Monday, "but someone said, 'If you leave this park without at least one home run then you did something wrong."
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Add it to the list of mistakes that Kingery made as a rookie.
A year later, Kingery is getting everything right. He’s far and away the Phillies’ most improved player, and an indispensable member of the lineup. And about 15 hours after his bases-clearing double sparked a victory over the New York Mets, he delivered another big hit, a two-run homer in the second inning of a 7-1 Labor Day rout of the Cincinnati Reds.
"Little sleep, tired, happy to get that home run," Kingery said. "It felt like my eyes were half-closed there. But two big wins for us. Hopefully the bats are coming alive and we can keep them alive."
Kingery’s homer against Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani marked his 50th extra-base hit of the season. He’s the seventh player ever to have at least 50 extra-base hits in a season in which he played all three outfield positions, second base, third base, and shortstop, joining a group that includes Al Smith (1955), Felix Mantilla (1964), Kirby Puckett (1990), Jose Hernandez (1998), Ben Zobrist (2009), and Danny Santana (2019).
“It’s hard not to be excited about that, because you’ve got what could project to be a middle-of-the-lineup bat and a guy who plays shortstop and center field. Those guys are very difficult to come by,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “You don’t see those often around the league. A very valuable player for us right now.”
Said Kingery: “It’s cool. I know how valuable it is to have people on your team who can play multiple positions, especially in the National League. I kind of forgot what it’s like to stick at one position, but it’s definitely more comfortable now that I’ve been doing it for two years now.”
As reliever Jared Hughes sprinted onto the field in the sixth inning, a thank-you message appeared on the scoreboard.
Hughes posted a 1.94 earned-run average in 72 games for the Reds last season before struggling this year and being designated for assignment. The Phillies claimed him off waivers on Aug. 15.
"I made a lot of friends in Cincinnati, no doubt," Hughes said after tossing 1 2/3 scoreless innings against his former team. "There's a lot of relationships here that I'll treasure forever. It's definitely a place that has a special place in my heart, and that [message] meant a lot to me."
Former Phillies minor-league catcher Chace Numata died after being hospitalized for injuries suffered in a skateboarding accident, his family confirmed Monday. Numata, 27, was playing for the Detroit Tigers' double-A team in Erie, Pa.
The Phillies drafted Numata in the 14th round in 2010. He reached double-A Reading last season before becoming a minor-league free agent.
"During his eight years in our minor league system, our organization and his teammates came to know Chace as a wonderful, humble young man who worked hard to become the best version of himself," the Phillies said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time."