The Phillies’ recent run of success continued in thrilling fashion on Friday night, as Kyle Schwarber walked off the Dodgers for the team’s sixth straight victory. The Phils were firing on all cylinders, with Ranger Suárez tossing his best start of the year, the lineup jumping on a rookie pitcher, and just enough offense at the end to sneak out a win.
Suárez was brilliant, hurling 6.0 innings of one-run ball, yielding only four hits and two walks, while punching out eight Dodgers hitters. The left-hander gave up a run in the first inning, but cruised after that, shutting down one of the best lineups in baseball over five more frames.
The ever-reliable Matt Strahm came on for the seventh, but ran into trouble immediately with a leadoff walk to Miguel Vargas. He almost got out unscathed, but a two-out homer from Mookie Betts cut the Phils’ lead to one. Freddie Freeman took him deep in the next at bat, and just like that it was a brand new game.
As for how the Phillies got their four runs, it started with a triple from the unlikeliest of sources: Kyle Schwarber. The lumbering left fielder crushed a ball off the left-center field wall that bounced away from Dodgers center fielder Jonny DeLuca and allowed Schwarber the snail to steam into third base. After a Nick Castellanos strikeout, Bryce Harper laced a single to right to tie the game at one.
The Phils were back at it in the fifth, with Edmundo Sosa leading things off with a base hit. Schwarber then walked, and a Castellanos double drove in one. Schwarber came home on a wild pitch from rookie Michael Grove, and a Trea Turner single scored Castellanos to make it 4-1 Phillies.
After Strahm’s blow up, Rob Thomson called on José Alvarado to keep things tied in his return from the Injured List. After surrendering a leadoff double, Alvarado buckled down and kept the Dodgers off the board. Gregory Soto came on for the ninth and did the same, setting the stage for Schwarber’s heroics, and the team’s sixth straight win.
Caleb Ferguson came on for the Dodgers and coaxed two quick outs from Drew Ellis and Edmundo Sosa. In a 1-1 count Ferguson left a cutter over the middle of the plate, and Schwarber demolished it, crushing a walk-off blast deep into the right field seats.
The Phillies have been entirely feast or famine this season, and they’ve feasted this week. A series win over the Nationals led into a sweep of the Tigers, and now they’ve taken the first of a three-game set against the Dodgers for their sixth straight win. The Phils now sit at 31-32 on the year, 2.5 games back of a wildcard spot. There’s still almost 100 games left to play, but it’s good to see things clicking for a team that struggled mightily out of the gate.