Altherr, Joseph are having a May to remember

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“All right,” Altherr said, “a new month starts. Let’s do it.”

Altherr's single to center

Altherr and Joseph have been two of the hottest hitters in baseball in May, and they came up big again Saturday in a 4-3 victory over the Reds. Altherr ripped a single against Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Lorenzen threw an 0-2 breaking ball to Joseph into the dirt. The ball bounced just a few feet from Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart, but Altherr ran to second to get into scoring position.

“I just wanted to try to make something happen,” Altherr said. “I just kind of instinctively just took off.”

Two pitches later, Joseph ripped a 97-mph fastball to center field to score Altherr.

Joseph enjoyed the first walk-off hit of his career Thursday against the Rockies. He is the first Phillies player to have two walk-off hits in three days since Juan Samuel on June 21-22, 1985. Elias Sports Bureau said Joseph is the first player in baseball to accomplish the feat since Starlin Castro on June 13-14, 2015, against the Reds.

“Works for me,” Joseph said.

Joseph's walk-off single

Altherr (1.024 OPS) and Joseph (1.016) entered the afternoon ranked 11th and 13th in the National League in OPS in May.

Joseph’s May is more impressive compared to his .476 OPS in April.

“I didn’t think I’d have an April like I did,” Joseph said. “So, it was just a matter of making adjustments with [hitting coach] Matt [Stairs], making sure that we stay a little more consistent with what’s going on, and it’s all about really sticking to the adjustments that we make.”

“I’m glad to see that he turned it around,” Altherr said.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin is happy to see it, too. The Phillies have been struggling offensively. Where would they be without Altherr and Joseph?

“He was what I was hoping he would be,” Mackanin said of Joseph. “If he continues like this, he’s going to have a heck of a good year and help us win a lot of games.”

It was just the Phillies’ sixth win in their last 27 games, but they can win their first series since April 26-27 with a victory Sunday.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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