Wheeler pitches 7 solid innings, Realmuto hits a home run, and the Philadelphia Phillies defeat the Texas Rangers 5-2 to complete a 3-game sweep

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Zack Wheeler pitches to the batter

Zack Wheeler pitched seven strong innings, and J.T. Realmuto and Nick Castellanos hit home runs to help Philadelphia complete a three-game sweep of the World Series champion Texas Rangers with a 5-2 win Thursday. This marked the Phillies’ seventh series sweep this season.

“We’re all having a lot of fun doing it,” Castellanos said. It’s easy to see why. The Phillies are 29-6 over their last 35 games, matching the best 35-game span in franchise history, last achieved in 1892.

Not even the reigning world champions, a 45-minute weather delay, or missed opportunities with bases loaded could stop a Phillies team that has now won six straight games and dominated the spring season.

Attendance was unaffected by weekday baseball, with a sellout crowd of 42,377 filling Citizens Bank Park to see the Phillies finish a 7-1 homestand and improve to 22-8 at home. With a 37-14 record, they have the best mark in baseball, with numerous impressive achievements within that record.

For instance, the Phillies went 17-3 in May. Additionally, they have either split or won each of their last 15 series, the longest such streak since a 19-series run in 1984.

Cristian Pache hits the ball for a two run

And the Phillies have improved to 15-3 since they lost two-time All-Star shortstop Trea Turner to a left hamstring injury. Asked before the game if he had any real concerns about this year’s team, manager Rob Thomson could only express the threat of complacency.

But Thomson added that the idea of any self-satisfaction within the clubhouse seemed unlikely, especially after last season’s loss in the NL Championship Series to Arizona and the 2022 World Series defeat to Houston.

“I don’t think so, not with this group, especially after the last two years,” Thomson said. “And the people that we’ve brought in have joined in on that motivation. I think we’ve got a really good group.”

Wheeler (6-3) extended his winning streak to six games (over seven starts) and allowed five hits and two runs. He surrendered Adolis García’s solo homer in the second inning and another run in the seventh.

Phillies starters have pitched at least seven innings in 18 starts this year, the most in baseball. “I think we all have that mentality of going seven-plus every time,” Wheeler said. “If you don’t, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But that’s our goal. We have goals every time out and that’s one of them.”

José Alvarado pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Jeff Hoffman closed out the ninth for his fourth save. “They swing the bats, they’re one of the best offensive teams in baseball,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “We caught a hot team.”

Edmundo Sosa reacts after hitting a double

Much like the night before when the Phillies returned from a 2-0 deficit, García’s homer was just an early problem.

Realmuto hit an 0-2 pitch off Rangers starter Andrew Heaney (0-6) the other way into the right field seats for a tying shot in the third inning, extending his hitting streak to 13 games.

Cristian Pache hit a two-run triple off the left field wall in the fourth inning for a 3-1 lead, and he scored on Kyle Schwarber’s RBI single.

Castellanos added a solo home run in the seventh inning, marking the Phillies’ 13th straight game with four or more runs. “Hats off to ownership and the front office for believing in the pieces that are already here,” Castellanos said.

The Rangers managed to retire Schwarber on an inning-ending groundout in the second inning, and Alec Bohm, who led the majors in doubles and RBIs, slammed his helmet after hitting into a double play with the bases loaded to end the fourth inning.

The Phillies have yet to win a series against a team with a record above .500 as of Thursday, but they certainly dealt a blow to the Rangers (24-27) with the sweep. Texas has lost four straight games and 12 of its last 19.


By Christopher Kamila

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