'We can do damage': Phils continue historic HR surge

Philadelphia matches franchise mark with multiple home runs in sixth straight game

September 3rd, 2023

MILWAUKEE -- The power surge that began last month and has continued at full throttle in September propelled the Phillies to a 4-2 win over the Brewers on Sunday afternoon at American Family Field, ending Philadelphia's three-game losing streak.

and belted back-to-back home runs off Brewers starter Wade Miley to start the seventh inning as the Phils turned a one-run deficit into a one-run lead.

  • Games remaining: at SD (3), vs. MIA (3), vs. ATL (4), at STL (3), at ATL (3), vs. NYM (4), vs. PIT (3), at NYM (3)

Standings update: The Phillies (75-61) hold a 2 1/2-game lead over the Cubs (73-64) for the top NL Wild Card spot. They are 5 1/2 games clear of the D-backs (70-67), Giants (70-67), Marlins (70-67) and Reds (71-68).

“As an opposing pitcher, you never feel comfortable, no matter who is in the box or where you’re at in the game,” Realmuto said of the Phillies' lineup. “It’s just not a comfortable feeling knowing that whoever is stepping to the plate, one through nine, can take you deep and do damage, and you’re just one bad pitch away from your outing completely changing.”

Such was the case on Sunday.

Miley held the Phillies without a hit until two outs in the sixth. After Kyle Schwarber walked, Trea Turner broke up the no-hit bid with a single off the glove of Brewers third baseman Andruw Monasterio. Nick Castellanos then drove in Schwarber with a double to cut Milwaukee’s advantage to 2-1.

Miley came back out for the seventh and the Phillies' power changed the course of the game when Bohm and Realmuto drove pitches over the fence in consecutive at-bats. It marked the sixth time Philadelphia batters hit back-to-back homers this season, with the most recent such occurrence coming on Aug. 23 against the Giants.

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said he had confidence in sending Miley out for the seventh.

“It just didn’t work out," Counsell said. "It’s the home runs that hurt us, obviously, in that inning."

Bohm said he wasn’t sure that the ball he hit -- which traveled a Statcast-projected 388 feet -- was going to clear the fence. It would have been a home run in only one other ballpark (Wrigley Field), according to Statcast.

“I thought I was going to get thrown out at second, but I was going regardless,” Bohm said. “I saw it went over and I was pretty relieved. No matter where we’re at in this order, we can do damage.”

The Phillies' pair of homers marked their sixth straight game with at least two home runs, tying the longest such streak in franchise history. They also went deep multiple times in six consecutive games from Aug. 2-8, 1969.

Philadelphia connected for seven home runs in the three-game series, with Realmuto, Schwarber and Turner each hitting a pair. That comes after the Phillies had an MLB-best and franchise-record 59 homers in August, tied for the third most by any team in a calendar month.

“That’s what we envisioned when this team was put together -- it’s power up and down the lineup,” Realmuto said. “We haven’t necessarily shown it all year long, but I feel like we are coming into our stride right now at the right time.”

The Phils also got a boost with the return of Ranger Suárez, who hadn’t pitched since Aug. 13 after straining his right hamstring while working out on the artificial turf in Toronto. The southpaw had gone 2-6 with a 3.88 ERA in 17 starts this season prior to landing on the injured list. He had also logged at least five innings in each of his past 15 outings.

That streak ended on Sunday. Making his first start in three weeks -- and without any rehab outings to ramp up -- Suárez lasted just four innings. He gave up two runs off five hits (including two home runs) and two walks, while striking out five. Suárez threw 75 pitches, 46 for strikes.

Manager Rob Thomson saw some positives despite the abbreviated outing.

“All in all, I thought it was good,” Thomson said. “The velocity was good. The command was a little off, which is natural [after] not being out on the mound for as long as he’s been out.”

William Contreras tagged Suárez for a solo home run with one out in the first inning to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. Suárez faced six batters and threw 26 pitches in the opening frame. After a quick second inning, seven Milwaukee batters came to the plate in the third.

The Brewers loaded the bases with two outs in the inning, but Suárez struck out Victor Caratini to thwart the rally.

Suárez was lifted after retiring the side in order in the fourth.

“Maybe at first, I was a little shaky,” Suarez said through team interpreter Diego Ettedgui. “But as the game went on, I felt better, the command was better.”