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Phillies batter sloppy Rangers for fifth straight win

PHILADELPHIA — One team at Citizens Bank Park looked like World Championship material Wednesday night. It wasn’t the one that hung a banner on Opening Day.

The Phillies capitalized on four Texas Rangers errors and continue to pummel opponents with timely hitting, including three home runs, in winning for the 28th time in 34 outings, 11-4.

Edmundo Sosa hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning, after a solo job by J.T. Realmuto in the third put the Phillies up for good. Bryce Harper added the exclamation point with an eighth-inning solo shot off the facing of the second deck in right to position the Phillies for their seventh sweep of the season in Thursday’s matinee. The Phillies needed just eight hits, thanks to six walks — three issues to Kyle Schwarber — and the miscues from the Rangers.

The game began inauspiciously for the Phillies, Marcus Simien popping up Taijuan Walker’s first pitch 104 feet into the basepath between first and second. With Bryson Stott and Harper looking at each other befuddled, the ball with the expected batting average of .000 fell for a hit. It became a not-abundantly-earned run on Josh Smith’s two-out single.

Leody Tavares made it 2-0 Texas when he mashed a ball 437 feet to center, two-thirds of the way up the batter’s eye, in the second.

But the Phillies fought back, as has been their wont. Alec Bohm reached on an error to start the second, when Corey Seager made a great play on a ball deflected by starting pitcher Dane Dunning but Nathaniel Lowe couldn’t grasp the throw at first. Bohm would score on Brandon Marsh’s single to right, then Nick Castellanos scored when Marsh dashed for second and Dunning threw the ball into the outfield, tying the game at 2. Those would be the first two of six unearned runs surrendered by Texas.

Realmuto put the Phillies ahead in the third, and Sosa went opposite field on the first offering from reliever Jonathan Hernandez.

Rangers relievers would go 0-for-4 in inherited runners stranded, and the defense didn’t help. The third error of the game was a puzzler with two outs in the sixth, Johan Rojas pounding a three-hopper to Seager at short. He flipped to Semien at second to force out Castellanos, who’d led off with a walk. But Semien ducked, expecting a throw to first, and Seager’s flip looped over Semien’s head and fell to the dirt.

That opened the floodgates. Schwarber worked a walk from Jerry Rodriguez. Realmuto slapped a two-run single to right to make it 8-3. Bohm, batting .412 with runners in scoring position, blooped a double into a rhombus of fielders in short center to make it 10-3.

That was more than enough support. Walker got within one out of his fourth win of the season. But Smith’s second RBI single of the night chased him with two outs in the fifth in a 6-3 game.

Matt Strahm (3-0) entered to extinguish the mess, getting Jonah Heim to fly out to center. A double play in the sixth gave the lefty 20.1 straight scoreless innings.

Walker allowed six hits, walked four and struck out five over 86 pitches.

Strahm, Gregory Soto, Orion Kerkering and Jose Ruiz allowed just one hit in 4.1 innings of relief, that a solo homer by Seager off Soto in the seventh.

NOTES >> Yunior Marte (shoulder) threw to live hitters pregame. Manager Rob Thomson declared him ready for a rehab assignment, details of which are still to be hammered out. … Trea Turner (hamstring) hit in the cages and ran. He’ll get a day to recover Thursday before they continue his rehab on the trip to Colorado and San Francisco. Thomson resisted the urge to place a timeline on a rehab assignment for the All-Star. … Zack Wheeler (5-3, 2.52 ERA) takes the mound Thursday seeking the sweep. Andrew Heaney (0-5, 4.43) will oppose him.


Source: Berkshire mont

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