Ranger Suárez notches his ninth win of the season as Bryce Harper hits a home run in the Phillies’ 5-2 victory over the Rangers

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J.T. Realmuto reacts after striking out

Ranger Suárez struck out 10 batters in seven innings and earned his ninth win without a loss, guiding the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-2 triumph over the Texas Rangers, who are the reigning World Series champions, on Tuesday night.

Suárez’s impressive start to the season puts him in the same league as legendary pitchers Grover Alexander and Juan Marichal in baseball history.

Bryce Harper contributed to the victory with his 11th home run of the season, as the Phillies continued their strong performance, winning for the ninth time in 11 games and achieving one of their best starts in team history.

With 35 wins in their first 49 games, the Phillies have matched a milestone they reached only once before in 1976. Additionally, their record of 27 wins in the last 33 games is a feat never achieved by the team since at least 1901.

This season, Suárez has proven himself to be one of the top pitchers in baseball. “He understands what it takes to win games,” Harper commented on Suárez’s performance.

The 28-year-old left-handed pitcher left the field to applause from the crowd in the seventh inning after striking out Leody Taveras with a 91.6 mph sinker to end the inning. Suárez has been undefeated in his last nine starts after initially recording a no-decision in his first start of the season.

Bryce Harper watches after hitting the ball

“I simply focus on throwing and doing my best,” Suárez stated through a translator.

With an ERA of 1.36, Suárez now ranks third among Phillies pitchers with the lowest ERA in their first 10 starts of a season. His performance puts him behind Grover Alexander, who achieved a 1.24 ERA in his first 10 starts of 1916 and a 1.31 ERA in his first 10 starts of 1915.

Suárez’s impressive record of starting 9-0 with a sub-1.50 ERA in 10 starts has not been seen since Juan Marichal accomplished it for the San Francisco Giants in 1966. Moreover, Suárez is the first Phillies pitcher since Robin Roberts in 1952 to win at least nine consecutive starts.

“It’s quite astonishing, this incredible streak he’s been having,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson remarked. José Alvarado closed the game with a scoreless ninth inning, securing his ninth save of the season.

Ranger Suárez outperformed the Texas Rangers once again, solidifying his position as Philadelphia’s standout pitcher this season — a remarkable achievement considering the presence of Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler in the rotation. Suárez allowed two walks and one run before Jeff Hoffman took over in the eighth inning.

Corey Seager hit a solo home run off Hoffman in the eighth inning, narrowing the lead to 3-2. Hoffman managed to record only two outs before Matt Strahm came in and retired Nathaniel Lowe on a line drive to left field, ending the inning with two runners on base.

This three-game series almost serves as a rematch of the World Series. The Rangers clinched their first World Series title in five games by defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks, who had eliminated the Phillies in the NL Championship Series after a dramatic comeback in Games 6 and 7.

Ezequiel Duran jumps to catch the ball

Suárez found himself trailing early after allowing Marcus Semien’s RBI single to left field in the third inning.

The Phillies took the lead 2-1 against Jon Gray (2-2) when Kyle Schwarber hit a single that brought in a run in the third inning, and Alec Bohm followed with another RBI single in the fourth.

In the sixth inning, Harper hit a home run off Rangers reliever Jacob Latz, extending the Phillies’ lead to 3-1 and helping them break a 12-game losing streak against the Rangers dating back to 2014.

Bohm, who has been on a seven-game hitting streak with 11 RBIs during that time, added another RBI with a double in the eighth inning, bringing his total to 44 RBIs for the season. Bryson Stott then hit a sacrifice fly to give the Phillies a 5-2 lead.

“They’re pitching well and they’re getting big hits,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy commented. “They’re a very good offensive club. They’re one of the best teams in baseball right now, that’s how well they’re playing.”


By Robert Jackson

An avid football fan (A red). And an Otaku by the definition of the word.

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