Phillies News

Phillies snap near decade long winless streak vs. Rangers

A 5-2 win Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park marked the Phillies' first win over the Rangers since 2014.

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Sure, the Phillies' hitters want to do whatever they can to help any of their pitchers win.

The remarkable run that lefthanded starter Rangers Suárez has been on, though, hasn’t gone unnoticed by the hitters.

Suárez pitched seven more strong innings in Tuesday night’s 5-2 win over the defending champion Texas Rangers at Citizens Bank Park. He allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings, striking out 10. He’s now 9-0.

Bryce Harper, who doubled and scored the tying run in the fourth led off the sixth with a majestic home run to dead center, giving his starter an insurance run.

It was Harper who, in Suárez’s previous start, came into the home dugout after the top of the fifth Wednesday night and exhorted his teammates, ‘Let’s get him a W.’ Suárez hadn’t given up an earned run but was trailing by a run because of some unsteady defense behind him.

As if on command, the Phillies scored four times to put the game away. Harper was right in the thick of the rally with a two-run double.

“The starting pitching has been great,” Harper said after Tuesday’s win. “Any time you have the confidence in your guy’s ability to go out and do his job, it just raises the confidence of the offense as well.

“We know on any given night our starter is going to go out there and do his job, and we’re going to do the best we can as an offense to help them out and get them the runs they need.”

Even with all that, though, the first baseman recognizes that what Suárez has been doing is special.

“You applaud him,” Harper said. “He goes out there every fifth day and does his job, man. He works hard. He knows what it takes to win games and he knows how to pitch and keep teams off balance.

“Obviously, as a team, we’re thinking about that. For a guy to go out there and be 9-0 we want him to get to 10-0, 11-0 and so forth.”    

IN HINDSIGHT: On March 31, 2014 the Phillies opened the regular season in Arlington, Texas by outslugging the Rangers for a 14-10 win.

Jimmy Rollins, Marlon Byrd and Cody Asche homered for manager Ryne Sandberg. Cliff Lee got the win despite allowing eight runs on 11 hits and a walk in his five innings.

And, by the way, it was the last time the Phillies beat the Rangers. At least, it was until they ended the streak Tuesday.

They had dropped 12 straight vs. Texas, the longest active losing streak of any team in baseball against any opponent. It also tied the longest streak ever between interleague opponents, matching the Angels 12 straight wins against – yes – the Phils from 2003-17. The last time the Phillies lost more consecutive games to the same opponent was 14 against the Pirates from August 6, 1990 to August 14, 1991.

CRAZY STAT OF THE NIGHT: Since opening the season 8-8, the Phillies have gone 27-6. That’s an .818 winning percentage. To put that into perspective, that would translate into 132 wins over a 162-game season.

The MLB record for wins in a season is 116, shared by the 1906 Cubs and 2001 Mariners.

P.S. This is the first time since at least 1901 that the Phillies have won 27 of 33 games.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: Alec Bohm has driven in 11 runs in his last seven games and leads the team with 44 for the season.

Bryce Harper on Bohm: “I love watching him hit. He’s got such a simple swing. I always tell him that if I’m going to teach my son how to hit, it’s going to be like that.”

NOTEWORTHY: RHP Taijuan Walker (3-0, 4.91), who came out of his last appearance after being struck on his left big toe by a line drive, has been confirmed to start Wednesday against the Rangers at 6:40 p.m. RHP Zack Wheeler (5-3, 2.52) will pitch the series finale Thursday at 1:05 p.m. Texas has yet to announce its starters. . .SS Trea Turner (left hamstring strain) hit in the field for the first time since going on the injured list on May 4 before Tuesday’s game.

“He said he felt great, didn’t feel a thing,” Rob Thomson reported, but added that Turner won’t be activated until he’s completely recovered. “Because if we don’t do it properly it can crop up for years, maybe the rest of his career. So we want to make sure we take care of it,” the manager explained.

There’s no timetable for his return but, based on the original prognosis, he’ll be out at least three more weeks.

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