Schwarber goes deep again in San Diego as Phillies beat Padres
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Kyle Schwarber hit another eye-popping home run at Petco Park — this one a 465-foot leadoff shot almost halfway up the batter's eye beyond the center field wall — and Zack Wheeler and three relievers combined to three-hit San Diego's high-priced offense as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Padres 5-1 on Wednesday.
The Phillies took two of three to win the season series 5-2. It was a rematch of the NL Championship series, which Philadelphia won in five games. The Phillies, who won for the 10th time in 15 games, hold the NL's top wild card spot. The Padres, who have lost 8 of 13, have failed to live up to the expectations that come with having a payroll of about $250 million, third-highest in baseball. They dropped to nine games under .500.
Schwarber drove a 2-1 pitch from Michael Wacha for his 41st overall and 10th leadoff homer of the season, breaking Jimmy Rollins’ franchise record of nine in 2007.
“It definitely gets our team off to a good start,” Wheeler said. “Especially as a starter, on the road, it sets a good tone.”
Schwarber hit a 440-foot homer deep into the seats in right field in a 9-7 win Monday night in the series opener. He hit a jaw-dropping 488-foot homer into the second deck in right in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series, which the Phillies won 2-0.
“It's fun to watch, right?” Wheeler said. “Any home run is fun to watch, but ones that go high and deep ... they're always deep or they're really high, too, kind of majestic. He's not your typical leadoff hitter but it's fun to watch and it gets us off on a good start a lot of the time. He's done well for us.”
J.T. Realmuto also homered and Bryce Harper hit a two-run double to end an 0-for-20 skid. That was more than enough to back Wheeler (11-6), who held the Padres' wildly inconsistent offense to one hit in six innings while striking out seven and walking two.
The Padres once again followed up a big win — 8-0 Tuesday night — with a punchless effort.
Wheeler retired the first 11 Padres batters before walking Juan Soto and allowing a broken-bat bloop single to Manny Machado. Xander Bogaerts grounded out to end the threat.
Seranthony Dominguez, Jeff Hoffman and former Padres reliever Matt Strahm finished the combined three-hitter. Strahm allowed two hits in the ninth, including Garrett Cooper's RBI single.
Wheeler is “throwing the ball great,” manager Rob Thomson said. “He had one hit on them, but you keep that lineup to three hits in a game, you're doing some pitching. I thought he pitched great."
Wheeler said the Padres “are still a really good lineup so still have to keep it locked in and pitch well. I don't know what their problem has been this year, why they're in the position they're in, but they've still got a good lineup.”
The Phillies loaded the bases after Schwarber's homer but failed to add on. Alec Bohm doubled, Harper walked and Nick Castellanos singled. Bryson Stott hit a fly ball to right field but Fernando Tatis Jr.'s strong throw home kept Bohm from trying to score. Wacha then struck out Realmuto and Brandon Marsh.
Harper doubled into the gap in right-center with two outs in the fourth to make it 3-0. He brought in Edmundo Sosa, who hit a leadoff single, and Schwarber, aboard on a walk.
“It felt good. I've got to keep going,” said Harper, who added that he's been chasing too many pitches.
Realmuto homered to right-center with one out in the fifth, his 18th.
Wacha (11-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in four innings, struck out six and walked three.
Tatis moved from right field to make his first appearance at second base in the ninth. He took a throw from Bogaerts, the shortstop, to force Realmuto, for the first out but fumbled the ball and couldn't try for a double play. He fielded Jake Cave's grounder and threw him out to end the inning. Tatis began his career at shortstop before moving to right field this season when he finished serving an 80-game PED suspension on April 20.
Padres: C Gary Sánchez suffered a broken right wrist when he was hit by a pitch from Hoffman in the eighth. Sánchez was replaced at catcher to start the ninth. He hit 19 home runs after being picked up off waivers from the New York Mets in May. ... Ji Man Choi injured his right foot while on a rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso and could be done for the season.
Phillies: LHP Christopher Sanchez (2-3, 3.48 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a three-game home series against Miami.
Padres: Major league ERA leader LHP Blake Snell (12-9, 2.50 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Milwaukee. The Brewers are set to go with RHP Hunter Brown (10-10, 4.53).
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