Phillies go for second straight series sweep as they host Rangers

The Philadelphia Phillies are excelling in every area and it has resulted in the best 50-game start in franchise history.

Edmundo Sosa, J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper each homered and the Phillies defeated the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers 11-4 on Wednesday.

Philadelphia will now look for its second consecutive series sweep when it hosts the Rangers on Thursday. The Phillies came into the series off a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals.

The Phillies are 36-14 and haven’t lost any of their last 15 series.

“I’ve been playing this game a long time,” Realmuto said on a postgame interview on NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of a team his complete and has this much fun.”

Alec Bohm contributed a two-run double and increased his Major League-leading RBI total to 46. Realmuto also increased his hitting streak to 12 in a row.

“When people make mistakes, you’ve got to take advantage,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said.

While the red-hot start has been impressive, the goal now is to keep winning.

“You’ve got to keep grinding, keep pushing,” Thomson said.

Philadelphia’s bullpen continued to be quite productive as Matt Strahm, Gregory Soto, Orion Kerkering and Jose Ruiz combined to throw 4 1/3 solid innings. The lone blemish was Soto allowing a solo home run to Corey Seager.

“They all have really good stuff,” Realmuto said. “They all throw strikes. We have a lot of faith in these guys.”

The Phillies will hand the ball to Zack Wheeler (5-3, 2.52 ERA).

Wheeler is 1-2 with a 2.43 ERA in five career starts against the Rangers.

The Rangers will look to snap a three-game losing streak when they battle the Phillies in the series finale.

Seager had two hits, including a solo home run, Leody Taveras hit a solo homer and Josh Smith added two hits and two RBIs.

But Texas went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and also struggled defensively with four errors.

The Rangers dropped two games below .500 and barely resemble the team that celebrated a championship not too long ago.

“You’ve got to flush it,” Texas manager Bruce Bochy said. “It was really ugly. There’s no getting around it. We didn’t handle the ball. … We’re better than this. We talked about it a little bit. The only way I know is to work harder and just try to keep pushing here. That’s all you can do.

“Just remind them that they’re resilient and it’s going to be up to us.”

Andrew Heaney (0-5, 4.43) is expected to start for the Rangers.

In Heaney’s last start against the Los Angeles Angels, he gave up five hits and three runs (two earned) in 3 2/3 innings. It matched his shortest start of the season.

“Pitches caught up with him more than anything. I didn’t want to push him too much here,” Bochy said. “Had some bad luck. Stuff was pretty good, but just got away from it as the game went.”

Heaney is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in one career start against the Phillies back in 2014 when he was a Marlin.

When Dane Dunning was activated to start in Wednesday’s loss, Cole Winn was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. Winn had a 6.91 ERA in 11 relief appearances.

–Field Level Media