The Phillies are cruising, winning four straight games and six out of their last seven. They crushed the Pirates 8-2 on Sunday afternoon, completing the four-game sweep. It was a terrific game all the way around, as Aaron Nola was in his usual excellent form, and the offense started clicking after two straight nail biters.

Kyle Schwarber hit another homer, his 33rd of the year, but the real star was Alec Bohm. The up-and-down third baseman went 4-5, coming only a triple short of the cycle and bringing his season batting average up to .299. Nick Castellanos also continued to pile up singles, notching four on Sunday. J.T. Realmuto and Matt Vierling also notched multi-hit efforts, while Didi Gregorius was the only member of the starting lineup not to collect a hit.

On the mound, Nola was outstanding. The All-Star snub went 6.0 strong innings against the Pirates, allowing only one run on six hits and a walk, while striking out eight. 31-year-old rookie Mark Appel hurled 2.0 scoreless frames of his own, and Jeurys Familia ran into his usual trouble before a fantastic double play from Didi Gregorius bailed him out.

The Phillies are beating up on teams they’re supposed to, aside from the Cubs, and keeping pace in the playoff race. They remain 1.0 game up on the Cardinals for the final wildcard spot, and are only 1.5 back of the Padres for the second wildcard. With Jean Segura set to return from the Injured List later this week and Bryce Harper recovering slowly but surely, the Phillies are trending upwards at the right time.

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