Phillies Game Story

Sanchez dazzles, lineup awakens, tempers flare as Phillies win to end trip

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Phillies' road trip ended with some drama but it wasn't over the final score.

The benches, bullpens and clubhouses cleared in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday after Giants starting pitcher Kyle Harrison threw high-and-inside to Bryce Harper twice in a row, nearly hitting him in the head or hand on consecutive pitches.

Harper barked at Harrison after the first one and the dugouts emptied after the second. No punches were thrown, just a bit of pushing and shoving as Harper stayed out of the fray and cooled off.

He grounded out when play resumed and the Oracle Park crowd erupted. Giants fans didn't have much else to cheer for Wednesday afternoon because the Phillies led wire-to-wire in a 6-1 win.

It was a 2-4 road trip but the Phillies at least avoided being swept for the first time this season. They fly home with a 39-18 record ahead of a six-game homestand that begins Friday.

Kyle Schwarber set the tone with an opposite-field home run to lead off the game. It was his 23rd leadoff homer as a Phillie and they've gone 19-4 in those games.

They increased their lead in the second inning on singles by Nick Castellanos, Bryson Stott and Cristian Pache, who drove in Castellanos with a two-out base hit.

Castellanos belted a two-run shot in the fifth inning as part of a three-hit day. The Phillies tacked on two more in the eighth on RBI singles by Schwarber and Harper.

The lineup had been cold offensively during the six-game road trip but broke out with 12 hits (including two homers and three doubles) in five innings against Harrison.

"It's a jolt," Castellanos said. "Just as a collective group, it feels good to go into the off-day with a W."

Cristopher Sanchez had some of his best command of the season in his 11th start, working ahead and putting hitters away with all three of his changeup, fastball and slider. The changeup dove the way he wants, he was able to throw strikes and work ahead with the slider, and his fastball still reached 97 mph in the middle innings. He's a very good major-league starter already but it's hard not to think about his upside on days like this.

"That was a goal I set for myself," Sanchez said of stopping the Phillies' skid. "We had lost two games here already so we had to go out and compete today."

The 27-year-old lefty generated three soft groundballs in the first inning, struck out three in the second and whiffed Wilmer Flores on three pitches after a mound visit from pitching coach Caleb Cotham with two outs and the bases loaded in the third. Sanchez was fired up after the strikeout, pounding his glove as he walked off the mound.

He cruised from that point on to put together six scoreless innings, improving to 3-3 with a 2.83 ERA.

Since being called up from Triple A last June, Sanchez has a 3.13 ERA with 152 strikeouts and 36 walks in 155⅓ innings, the kind of production you'd expect from a No. 2 starter.

"Let me tell you what, man, he's got electric stuff," Castellanos said. "And I think just the more innings he has under his belt, the more that he's able to find himself in familiar situations, the better he's gonna get. The good thing about him is he has a lot of veteran, established pitchers around him that he can learn from."

Gregory Soto and Seranthony Dominguez followed with scoreless innings and Spencer Turnbull allowed a meaningless run in the ninth. The Phillies held the Giants to four hits Tuesday and six Wednesday.

Next up are the Cardinals on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have Aaron Nola, Ranger Suarez and Taijuan Walker going in the series against right-handers Miles Mikolas, Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn.

"Thought Sanchy threw the ball really well, thought the offense did a great job getting on them early," Harper said. "Just a really good spot to be in going home. I know we're all excited to get home and play in front of our fans and get the homestand going. Should be a good one."

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