Phillies Game Story

Wheeler battles, Phillies' bullpen steps up to end long trip with another series win

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ANAHEIM — No pitcher, even one of the best starters and relievers in baseball, has their good stuff each time out and that was the case for Zack Wheeler and Jose Alvarado to end the Phillies' road trip.

Wheeler fell behind more often than usual and the Angels worked a plethora of deep counts against him with 10 of the 22 batters he faced seeing six or more pitches. He lasted only five innings, exceeding 20 pitches in four of them.

Alvarado allowed three singles in the eighth inning of a one-run game, but the great ones minimize damage the way he and Wheeler did Wednesday afternoon in a 2-1 Phillies win.

With their ace lasting only five innings and Jeff Hoffman unavailable after appearing in three of the previous four games, the Phillies used Matt Strahm, Orion Kerkering, Alvarado and Gregory Soto, in that order, to close out the victory. Soto had the tying run on third and go-ahead run on first with one out in the ninth but struck out Jo Adell before Taylor Ward's flyball died at the warning track to end the game.

Kyle Schwarber hit a two-out, two-run single up the middle in the top of the second, the 10th straight game the Phillies have scored first. He also put them on the board in the second inning Tuesday with a three-run homer.

Schwarber's knock Wednesday proved to be the only offense the Phils needed to win another series. They did very little after that second inning with just one more hit against Angels lefty starter Patrick Sandoval. They struck out 18 times on the day, nine of them looking. Bryce Harper and Edmundo Sosa expressed frustration with home plate umpire Chad Whitson after whiffing in their third at-bats.

It wasn't their most impressive game of the season but a win's a win and the Phillies went 7-3 on their road trip through Cincinnati, San Diego and Anaheim to arrive at a 21-11 record. They still have not lost a series since their second of the season, winning six and splitting two.

The Phils have Thursday off before beginning a six-game homestand against the Giants and Blue Jays.

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