PHILADELPHIA - 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. 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.
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.
Hoskins continued his torrid stretch since June 8. In the last 25 games, the first baseman has a .341 average with nine homers, 17 RBIs, and 18 runs scored. That includes four homers in his last five games after breaking the scoring ice in the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer on a cutter by Adam Wainwright that hung over the middle of the plate.
In the sixth, Hoskins doubled off the center-field wall to start the inning and scored on a Nick Castellanos single up the middle. Two hitters later, Realmuto plated Castellanos with his sixth homer of the season.
Both Hoskins and Realmuto went 2 for 4 — the only hitters for either team with multiple hits.
Wainwright (6-6) allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking one.
The Phillies placed LHP Ranger Suarez on the 15-day injured list on Sunday because of lower back spasms. Suarez, who had a 6-5 record with a 4.33 ERA in 15 starts this year for the Phillies, was scheduled to make the start on Tuesday against the Washington Nationals.
It is the second Phillies starting pitcher within a week to head to the injured list. RHP Zach Eflin was placed on the injured list on June 26 with a right knee bruise that could keep him out until after the All-Star break. Bailey Falter is replacing Eflin's turn in the rotation.
There was no immediate word who could come up for Suarez, however Cristopher Sanchez, who was scheduled to start for Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley on Sunday night, was scratched before his start. He has started two games for the Phillies over the past two seasons as an "opener".
Cardinals: OF Harrison Bader, who is on the 10-day injured list with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, is expected to begin throwing and hitting on Monday. OF Tyler O'Neill, who has been out for 12 games with a left hamstring strain, is expected at Triple-A Memphis as part of his rehab assignment.
Phillies: SS Didi Gregorius had an injection in his left knee and sat for his second straight game on Sunday night. Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said that the club would have a better indication of Gregorius' availability on Tuesday, when the club returns from its day off. Gregorius missed a month because of a left knee sprain in May.
Cardinals: St. Louis travels to Atlanta to begin a four-game set Monday. RHP Dakota Hudson (6-4, 3.83) is scheduled to get the start against Braves' RHP Kyle Wright (9-4, 3.03)
Phillies: In a scheduling quirk, the Phillies will have a scheduled off day on the 4th of July for the first time since 1916. The only previous times the club has not played on the holiday since were 1981 during the two-month players strike and the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, which didn’t begin until July 24. They will host Washington on Tuesday.