Jake Arrieta

Evidently, the city of Philadelphia is turning out to the be the sports capital of the United States this year. First the Philadelphia Eagles win Super Bowl 52. The Philadelphia 76ers are the hottest team in the NBA playoffs. The Philadelphia Flyers once again made the Stanley Cup playoffs. Now, the Philadelphia Phillies are making some noise in the National League East.

Newly acquired pitcher Jake Arrieta tossed 6 2/3 solid innings, allowing two earned runs while scattering seven hits. He walked two and struck out one. The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays 9-4 at Tropicana Field on Saturday.

It wasn’t just Arrieta’s performance on the mound that helped his team to their seventh win in the last eight games. Timely hitting by youngsters have the Philadelphia Phillies thinking they might have something special in the “City of Brotherly Love.”

Philadelphia’s J.P. Crawford keyed a six-run second inning, which helped the team show some muscle in the win. Per MLB.com, every Philadelphia starter — with the exception of Maikel Franco, who scored a run and drove in another on a sac fly — had at least one hit on Saturday.

The Phillies’ offense exploded in the top of the second against Rays ace Chris Archer. Nick Williams led off with a towering double off the wall in center. Scott Kingery followed that up with a double of his own — a hot shot down the third-base line just out of reach of Matt Duffy. After a walk to Franco on five pitches, Crawford lined a double just inside the right-field foul line to plate Kingery. Cesar Hernandez followed that with a single to left. Carlos Santana singled to right. Odubel Herrera singled to center.

Arrieta, however, was the catalyst for the Philadelphia Phillies win.

“He was an absolute animal out there today,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “Awesome job.”

The Phillies are now 8-5 this season and sit three games back of division leading New York.

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