PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Zack Wheeler threw seven shutout innings of four-hit ball and Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto slugged home runs as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 Sunday night.
The Phillies won two of three games in the series against a team they are chasing for a National League wild-card spot.
“A series win is always a plus,” Wheeler said. “Hopefully, we can continue this and keep it up.”
Since Rob Thomson took over as interim manager following the firing of Joe Girardi on June 3, Philadelphia has gone 20-9 and moved within 1 1/2 games of the Cardinals for the NL’s third wild card. The teams will meet next weekend in St. Louis for a four-game series.
“We haven’t played a lot of the Central, but to come away with a series win now and a series win over the Brewers (in early June in Milwaukee) is a good measuring stick of where we are against the National League.,” Hoskins said. “It’s big. We see them again in a week and it will be another big test for us. So we’ll see where it goes.”
Wheeler didn’t allow more than one Cardinals baserunner to reach in an inning, scattered four singles through seven innings while striking out five and walking one in improving to 7-4 with a 2.66 ERA. It is the third time this season that Wheeler has been a part of a combined shutout, which was finished off by relievers Nick Nelson and Corey Knebel.
“They worked him over a little bit early and the pitch count got a little bit high, but I thought he was really good,” Thomson said. “He had really good velocity and his stuff was really good.”
Wheele’s effort followed back-to-back nights in which the Phillies were forced to use three key arms at the back end of the bullpen — Siranthony Dominiquez, Brad Hand and Andrew Bellatti. None of them were available for…