PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Rhys Hoskins is going deep. And deep again. Kyle Schwarber is swatting home runs at a pace like no other slugger since the end of May. Bryce Harper has played like a reigning MVP and batted close to .400 for more than a month.
With pop at the plate, the Phillies are perfect under their new manager — and heating up for a summer playoff push.
Hoskins hit a pair of solo home runs and Schwarber added a three-run shot to lead red-hot Philadelphia to its eighth straight win, 7-5 over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.
On Saturday, the Phillies can match their longest winning streak since 2011 — the last year the franchise made the playoffs — when they took nine straight over July and August.
“We’re just waiting for the time when the Phillies show up and the other team does not have a chance at all,” winning pitcher Kyle Gibson said.
The Phillies returned home from a three-game sweep of Milwaukee and mashed and bashed again against the Diamondbacks. The Phillies are a sterling 7-0 under interim manager Rob Thomson. Thomson is the first manager to win his first seven games sine Joe Morgan won 12 straight with the Boston Red Sox in 1988.
“He’s obviously pressing all the right buttons right now,” Hoskins said. “He’s keeping us in here as loose as we can be. I think we’re seeing a pretty good product out on the field. We’re playing some good ball right now.”
With Harper (3 for 4) leading the charge, the Phillies are poised to make a run at an NL wild-card spot as they enter the softest spot of their schedule. The Phillies opened a six-game homestand against the sub-.500 Diamondbacks and Marlins. Then come four games at Washington (only the Reds are worse in the NL) and two games at Texas.
That’s 13 straight games against teams with losing records…