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Phillies vs. Angels: Zack Wheeler and JT Realmuto help Rob Thomson to another win

Phillies vs. Angels: Zack Wheeler and JT Realmuto help Rob Thomson to another win

Early runs, solid defense, no bullpen meltdown, late insurance… wherever he is, Joe Girardi must be thinking, “Really?”

The Phillies offense jumped on an Angels starting pitcher for the second straight night, scoring five first-inning runs in a 7-2 win.

Rob Thomson is 2-0 as interim skipper since taking over from Girardi, who was fired Friday morning. Thomson begins his tenure with a series win over a reeling Angels team that has lost 10 straight.

The Phillies are 24-29 after winning three straight.

“Yesterday, obviously a weird day,” said Rhys Hoskins. “The baseball business shows up from time to time, but it’s cool to see the boys get out there and play.

“We’re quite lucky that some of us have been with Rob Thomson for a few years and there’s a lot of familiarity. It has to be business as usual. I think that’s the nature of baseball season, it’s is a day and unfortunately the game continues.

“Business as usual and let’s win some baseball games.”

The tone was set immediately by Kyle Schwarber, who nearly scored the first pitch from the bottom of the first inning for the second game in a row. He smashed one to right field which a fan reached over the wall to interfere, resulting in a brace.

Schwarber is locked in and that’s an example of how he can be a catalyst as an unconventional front man. In his last five games, he’s 7-for-18 with four homers, a double and five walks.

The Phillies weren’t fooled by Michael Lorenzen, who entered with a 3.19 ERA. Eight of the first 10 batters have reached, three via walks. JT Realmuto and Johan Camargo kicked two goals each with a double and a single.

Camargo’s hit was huge. As productive as the Phillies’ first inning was, it may have given the Angels some momentum if they escaped it by retiring Camargo and allowing just two runs, especially with the way Lorenzen got away with it. set up to shoot five aimless frames afterward. Camargo was behind the count with the bases loaded before working it hard and picking in pairs. This extended the inning for Mickey Moniak, who drove into the fifth inning with a hit.

Camargo later added another big hit, a two-run single in the eighth that gave the Phillies more breathing room and allowed them to use Connor Brogdon in the ninth inning rather than close in on Corey Knebel.

“I worked hard so it’s really good to finally see results,” said Camargo, who only becomes more important the rest of the season with Jean Segura out for three months with a broken finger.

Realmuto has doubled three times, a career high. In his last 11 games, he is 14-for-35 (.400) with five doubles, one triple, one homer and 9 RBIs. He had a good game on both sides, also throwing Shohei Ohtani trying to steal the right field, an 81mph curveball in the first inning. Realmuto eliminated 9 of 18 potential base stealers, leading the majors 50%.

Zack Wheeler, the National League pitcher of the month for May, picked up his fourth victory. He struck out nine, all on fastballs, including Mike Trout twice. Trout is 0 for 8 in the series and hitless in his last 23 at bats, the longest of his career.

Despite the strong line (6 IP, 2 ER), Wheeler wasn’t quite his best, coming off the stretch in each of the first five innings and putting multiple men on base in three of six. The biggest inning was Game 5, when the Angels held the top spot for the third time after Lorenzen retired 10 of 11 Phillies. Alec Bohm started the inning with a clutch play, diving to his right and firing a strike at first to retire Matt Duffy. In front of Ohtani and Trout, it’s a crucial moment. Wheeler gave up a run in the inning but that was it, thanks to his win over Trout and that game from Bohm.

“Just a terrific game,” Thomson said. “He dived, had the presence and balance to throw a shot at first base. It was a big play to keep him out of first base with these guys coming in.

Bohm had a rough night. After hitting in his first AB, he took it out on the bat rack and was bloodied in the neck area when a piece of the bat ricocheted and cut him. He stayed in the game and just missed a two-run homer his next time, flying 401 feet to Trout at center.

“Guys are frustrated,” Thomson said. “It’s a situation where you don’t want to see a guy get hurt, but guys get frustrated and hit the bat rack every once in a while.”

Brad Hand and Seranthony Dominguez each pitched a scoreless inning in relief. Hand’s ERA has dropped to 1.13 in 23 appearances and he hasn’t allowed a run since May 4. Dominguez hasn’t been scored since May 3.

The Phillies go for the sweep Sunday afternoon at 1:35. Kyle Gibson (3-2, 3.83) takes on underrated southpaw Patrick Sandoval (3-1, 2.70), probably the most consistent arm in the Angels’ rotation right now.

“We’re happy but we have to control our emotions,” Camargo said of the three-game winning streak. “It’s just the beginning. We have to keep fighting and working hard because we know we are a good club.

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