Phillies end 9-game win streak, skipper Thomson’s 1st loss
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Rob Thomson took his first loss as interim manager and the Philadelphia Phillies ended a nine-game winning streak Sunday, falling 13-1 to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Phillies lost for the first time since May 31, and Thomson was beaten for the first time since replacing Joe Girardi on June 3.
“Have to dust ourselves off and go get them tomorrow,” Thomson said.
Christian Walker had three hits and three RBIs, Jake McCarthy homered, and Ketel Marte and Alek Thomas each drove in two runs for Arizona, which finished a 10-game trip 4-6.
“We knew they were riding high,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “(Thomson) has them playing great baseball. We knew we’d have to play a really good game, perfect baseball. So it’s nice to come away with a victory.”
Thomson’s eight wins to start his managing tenure matched the most ever for a Phillies skipper and is second overall to Boston’s Joe Morgan, who won 12 straight in 1988.
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The Phillies and their club-record $240 million payroll remained at .500 and are squarely in playoff contention. They began play third in the NL East, eight games behind the Mets and 2 ½ out of the final NL wild-card spot.
Their play Sunday looked more like how they ended the Girardi era, though.
Phillies pitchers walked 11 Diamondbacks and hit another, and their batters struck out 13 times. It got so bad that backup catcher Garrett Stubbs pitched the ninth.
“It was a tough day,” Thomson said. “That’s not a recipe for success. But at the end of the day, we won the series and we have to move on to tomorrow.”
The Diamondbacks loaded the bases with no outs after Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm couldn’t get an out on Marte’s routine grounder to third. Instead of tagging Jordan Luplow running right at him, Bohm tried to get a force at second and threw there too late.
Two batters later, catcher J.T. Realmuto dropped a throw from pitcher Ranger Suarez (4-4) on a forceout attempt at home. Realmuto had a chance to turn a 1-2-3, inning-ending double play, but Arizona instead scored two runs and added another on Daulton Varsho’s RBI groundout. Realmuto had three hits.
“We didn’t play the sharpest today and that’s what you can chalk it up to,” Philadelphia slugger Kyle Schwarber said. “We won the series. Still a lot of positives to what we’ve been doing, and that’s the biggest takeaway.”
Suarez, who needed 40 pitches to get through the first, left after 4 1/3 innings after allowing four runs — two earned — on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
Arizona tacked on four more runs in the sixth to go up 8-1. Relievers Nick Nelson and Andrew Bellatti combined for four walks and a hit batter in the frame when the Diamondbacks scored four runs on two hits en route to the blowout.
“It was just what we needed,” Lovullo said. “The guys dug deep. We had a ton of baserunning opportunities and we cashed in.”
Before that, Philadelphia had its best chance to get back in the game with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth. Noé Ramirez came on in relief of Luke Weaver (1-0) and struck out Nick Castellanos on three pitches before fanning Realmuto.
“He’s the guy we target for that part of the lineup,” Lovullo said.
Philadelphia has only had 13 winning streaks of 10 games or more, the last from July 8-21, 2009. The Phillies ended that season with their second consecutive appearance in the World Series.
Weaver, making his first appearance since April 7, allowed one run on three hits in three innings with four strikeouts and two walks after opener Kyle Nelson pitched a scoreless first.
Diamondbacks: Weaver (right elbow inflammation) was activated from the 60-day IL.
Phillies: Closer Corey Knebel played catch before the contest after not entering Saturday’s game due to right shoulder tightness. Knebel said before Sunday’s game that the decision on Saturday was just precautionary, and Thomson said there wasn’t structural damage and that the right-hander is day-to-day.
Diamondbacks: Return home for a three-game series against Cincinnati beginning on Monday when Arizona RHP Merrill Kelly (5-3, 3.32) faces Reds LHP Mike Minor (0-2, 8.64).
Phillies: Start three-game home set against Miami on Monday night, with Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (4-4, 3.50) opposing Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara (6-2, 1.61).
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