After a Kody Clemens walk-off to help sweep the Tigers, the Phillies rolled into their series against the Dodgers with full momentum — and finished in dramatic fashion once more. A walk-off home run from Kyle Schwarber gave the Phillies a 5-4 victory, extending their winning streak to six games — their longest of the season.
They’ve pulled themselves out of the hole they dug in the month of May. Now, with a 31-32 record, they’re sitting one game back of .500 for the first time since May 15.
A large part of this win was due to the success of Ranger Suarez. With every start he’s made since returning to the rotation, he has slowly morphed back into the Ranger we all know (and what the rotation needs). His ERA, which spiked up to 10.50 at one point, has dropped down to 4.70.
Suarez went six innings strong, allowing just four hits and one run. He ended the day with 103 pitches and eight strikeouts. Three of those eight strikeouts came in the fifth inning — which quickly proved to be one of the most dominant innings of the season.
“I thought Ranger was fantastic, he really was,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said following the win. “The fifth inning when he went through [Mookie] Betts and [Freddie] Freeman and [Will] Smith — three punchouts — that was as good of an inning as I’ve seen him have probably in his career. It was really good.”
Where the Dodgers struggled in the fifth, the Phillies came alive. It was an inning consisting of strong at-bats, small ball and a level of aggression that one can only hope lingers around the lineup.
Nick Castellanos had his 21st double of the season and racked up his 36th RBI on the hit. He sits third in the National League in doubles, only behind Freeman (23) and Matt Chapman (22).
That three-run lead fell to the wayside after Matt Strahm gave up back-to-back home runs to Betts and Freeman in the seventh inning to tie the game. Still, the Phillies found a way to prevail.
Give it up for Mr. June
We are only nine days into the month and Schwarber has found a way to be the topic of conversation on the daily. Tonight’s win against the Dodgers only further solidifies why he holds the nickname Mr. June. A two-out walk-off home run and a triple (his first since Oct. 1, 2022) adds to the already-lengthy highlight reel for the month.
Prior to tonight’s game, Jose Alvarado was recalled from his rehab assignment and reinstated from the 15-day IL (left elbow inflammation). Connor Brogdon was optioned to Lehigh Valley to make room on the 26-man roster.
He faced five batters in his first appearance since May 7, which included a leadoff double to J.D. Martinez and a walk to Miguel Vargas. More importantly, it included two strikeouts to Chris Taylor and Johnny Deluca. Having Alvarado back in the bullpen is a win in itself on the day.
For his first game back, his performance was very promising.
Alec Bohm could have been activated off the 10-day IL as early as Saturday, but it’s going to be at least one more day due to hamstring soreness, according to Thomson.
Bohm’s return raises a few question marks when looking at the infield — and in a good way. Clemens has been a surprise development over at first base. It makes you wonder if he’ll find his way into the starting lineup more frequently so Bohm can slide back to third. It would be an interesting dynamic as we wait for Bryce Harper to get cleared to play.
The weekend series continues tomorrow with a late afternoon tilt, slated for 4:05 p.m. Aaron Nola (5-4, 4.30 ERA) will take the mound for the Phillies and Bobby Miller (2-0, 1.06 ERA) for the Dodgers. Nola is coming off one of his strongest starts of the season — a one-hit performance through seven innings against the Tigers on June 5. Miller only has three starts in his young MLB career and is already turning heads. It’s bound to be a duel on the mound.
Taijuan Walker (5-3, 5.04 ERA) will close out the series and six-game homestand in Sunday’s 1:35 p.m. matinee. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has not named his starter yet.