Chimney Sweep

Harper homers, Wheeler strikes out 11 as Phillies full 4-game sweep of Giants with 6-1 win – WWLP

DAN GELSTON, Associated Press

6 days ago

Zack Wheeler of the Philadelphia Phillies throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants on Monday, May 6, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Zack Wheeler struck out 11 in seven innings, Bryce Harper hit a three-run home run and Kyle Schwarber added a solo shot to help the Philadelphia Phillies earn a four-game win over the San Francisco Giants by 6 :1 to complete victory on Monday.

Harper singled deep against Giants rookie Mason Black, spoiling the major league debut of the Giants right-hander, who pitched in the fifth inning against the team he rooted for as a kid.

“I hope he enjoyed it with his family, his teammates and everything else because there is only one debut,” Harper said.

This season's Phillies are winning as many as the ones Black cheered for as a child.

The major league-leading Phillies (25-11) won their sixth straight and have won 10 of 11 and 17 of 20 to open a three-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East.

The Phillies have also won 10 straight games at Citizens Bank Park, just two wins shy of matching the team record set in 2012. Philadelphia also set a franchise record with 11 consecutive wins against NL West opponents.

“I feel like we win in different ways every night. And it's a completely different player who makes it big, be it a hitter or a pitcher. It’s never the same guy, which is nice,” catcher JT Realmuto said. “There is not too much pressure on a player. We all feel like we play really well together and have a lot of fun, and the guys contribute every night.”

Harper hit a home run for the second straight game and his eighth hit of the season made it 4-0 against Black (0-1). Black made his major league debut in front of his parents, younger brother, girlfriend and numerous friends and family who came to watch him play against his favorite childhood team.

The 24-year-old Black – rated the seventh-best prospect in baseball according to MLB.com – was the Giants' third-round pick in the 2021 draft out of Lehigh University. Black recorded a 1-2-3 first inning that included strikeouts by JT Realmuto and Harper, the latter of which was caught in the 88 mph changeup.

Black allowed eight hits, five runs and three walks. He struck out four hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Wheeler (4-3) showed the rookie how it's done. He rebounded from an 0-3 start – he allowed a total of six runs in his first three starts – to win his fourth straight start. Wheeler allowed one run, walked one and lowered his ERA to 1.64.

“Today Wheels did what Zack does every time he goes out there. It was fun to watch and keep us in the game,” Harper said.

Matt Strahm pitched a scoreless eighth and Orion Kerkering pitched the ninth to complete the five.

With shortstop Trea Turner out for at least six weeks with a left hamstring strain, his replacements are starting to fill the void. Bryson Stott moved from second base to shortstop and snagged a great grounder from Wilmer Flores in the first to set up an inning-ending double play. Whit Merrifield started second and gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the fourth.

Harper had a three-run toss in the fifth and Nick Castellanos, who hit 37 doubles last season, got his first hit of the year later in the inning for a 5-0 lead.

Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm went 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at 18 games.

HUGE BREAK

The Giants lost for the sixth time in seven games, falling 6-14 on the road. They lost two of three games in Boston and ended their 10-game trip with three games at Colorado, the only team behind San Francisco in the NL West. Maybe there will be a Mile High fortune change for the Giants — they are 18-8 at Coors Field with a plus-51 run differential since 2021.

“We need to clean up,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We have to play better. We left home one game under .500 and not playing very well. I thought (the road) could be a pretty good spot for us since we hadn't been playing well. And now we’re playing terribly.”

NEXT

The Giants send LHP Kyle Harrison (2-1, 3.79 ERA) to the mound against Rockies RHP Dakota Hudson (0-5, 5.93) on Tuesday.

The Phillies stay at home and open a two-game set against Toronto on Tuesday. They will send LHP Cristopher Sánchez (1-3, 3.68) to the mound against Blue Jays RHP José Berríos (4-2, 1.44).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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