Phillies turn to Aaron Nola in quest of sweep vs. Dodgers

The Philadelphia Phillies will look for a series sweep when they host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.

The Phillies cruised to a 10-1 win in the series opener on Tuesday before posting their majors-best 60th victory in a 4-3 triumph on Wednesday.

Kyle Schwarber belted a solo home run while Trea Turner and Bryson Stott each added two hits and an RBI on Wednesday.

The Phillies won again despite playing without Bryce Harper and Johan Rojas. Both players were held out of the lineup due to their respective hand injuries.

Manager Rob Thomson said Harper was out of the lineup for precautionary reasons. Harper, who hit in the indoor batting cage before Wednesday’s game, injured his hand Tuesday while making a stellar defensive play.

Despite his absence, the Phillies continued their winning ways on Wednesday.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Alec Bohm said in a postgame interview on ESPN. “Obviously, winning is fun. We’re doing a lot of good things. Our eyes are focused on the end goal.”

In 2022, Philadelphia fell two wins short of a World Series title against the Houston Astros.

Last season, the Phillies held a 3-2 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series before losing the final two games at home.

“Sixty wins is great, but we’ve got a long way to go,” Thomson said.

The Phillies will hand the ball to Aaron Nola (10-4, 3.48 ERA) on Thursday.

In Nola’s most recent start, he allowed three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks in six innings in an 8-6 win over the Atlanta Braves last Friday.

Nola is 2-1 with a 4.42 ERA in nine career starts against the Dodgers.

Shohei Ohtani had two hits and an RBI on Wednesday and Miguel Rojas added a single and two RBIs for the Dodgers. Austin Barnes and Andy Pages each had two hits.

Los Angeles compiled nine hits but was unable to string together a big inning in a bid to topple Philadelphia.

Phillies left-handed reliever Matt Strahm struck out Ohtani with runners at first and third and one out in the seventh inning.

“We know we stack up with those guys, they know that we stack up with them,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Unfortunately, we haven’t won two games. I still think we have a pretty good ballclub.”

Right-hander Landon Knack (1-2, 2.86) is expected to start for the Dodgers on Thursday.

Knack, who has yet to face the Phillies in his career, allowed four runs on four hits — including three homers — over 4 1/3 innings in a 9-3 loss to the Diamondbacks on July 4.

With so many injuries to the starting staff, the Dodgers realize that they must rely on Knack for the time being.

“I know that winning baseball games — sustaining winning — stems and starts with starting pitching,” Roberts said. “That’s a fact. Clearly, we haven’t gotten the consistency out of that.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the Dodgers sent Bobby Miller to Triple-A Oklahoma City and recalled fellow right-hander Ricky Vanasco.

–Field Level Media