Schwarber welcomes June with 2 huge HRs, 6 RBIs

Ellis tallies first career multihomer game as Phillies' 5 blasts power series win

June 4th, 2023

WASHINGTON -- One player is Mr. June. The other player is just happy to be here in June.

Together they led the Phillies to a big series win after a rough sweep at the hands of the Mets.

Kyle Schwarber blasted a pair of three-run shots and newcomer Drew Ellis added his first career multihomer game as the Phillies routed the Nationals 11-3 Sunday at Nationals Park.

"Obviously, not the series we wanted to have beforehand, [so to] come out with the series win here [was] definitely positive, and [we’re] rolling into another big series here with Detroit,” Schwarber said. “Definitely ended on a positive note. On the personal side, just being able to keep going out there [and] feel like you’re going to keep trying to put in quality at-bats is key, right? Keep the consistent work in the cage, and go from there."

The offense got back on track, rolling up 22 runs and 36 hits over the weekend against the Nats after managing three runs in the series sweep by the Mets late last week.

"That's our goal is to win series,” manager Rob Thomson said. “One day at a time. There are going to be times when you go into somebody's ballpark and get swept, but then you’ve got to bounce back. So that's huge for us. That's the way this group is. I said it all of last year. They're resilient. They fight. They have a short memory, and they just keep going."

It was Schwarber's 23rd career multihomer game and first this season. He finished the series with five hits, including a double and two homers, and six RBIs. Before the Nats series, Schwarber had struggled to three hits in his previous 11 games.

And June is Schwarber’s month. He has won Player of the Month honors two years in a row.

Is there something to his June success every season?

"I don't know,” Schwarber said. “To be honest with you, it can be a coincidence, I guess. But I got to be able to keep going out there and keep putting in quality at-bats. If I can keep doing that, that will be a good thing for the Phillies."

The slugger has belted a team-leading 15 home runs on the season and has 24 in his career at Nats Park. Schwarber’s three-run blast in the sixth inning off Nats reliever Andrés Machado put the game away. He hit another three-run homer in the ninth off Thaddeus Ward.

“Coming in, I tried to do my best that I can do,” Machado said. “I think I missed that pitch, so I had to go inside, run a little bit in the middle. But it’s tough when you’re coming in, you try to do the best and nothing can happen.”

The Phillies clubbed five homers in the game -- and eight over the three-game set -- earning their first road series win since May 13 at Colorado.

Ellis hit his first two homers of the year in just his fourth game with the Phillies after signing a Minor League contract in April and starting the season at Double-A Reading.

The 27-year-old is thrilled to get another opportunity in the big leagues.

"It's awesome,” Ellis said. “Just being able to put a big league uniform on again, it's really special. I can't thank the people that supported me enough to get to this position. Just keep riding it out and having fun.

"Just getting consistent at-bats really helps. I talked to Nick [Castellanos] quite a bit. He's helped me out [saying], 'ride this wave as long as possible.’”

Thomson said all the reports were glowing as to Ellis’ potential back in the Majors.

"Everybody on the Minor League side recommended him,” Thomson said. “The staff at [Triple-A] Lehigh Valley said he's got a great approach, and he really does. It's very quiet, it's a short stroke. He doesn't panic. He doesn't chase. He's a good at-bat."

Ranger Suárez (1-2) earned his first win of the year, tossing a season-high seven innings and holding the Nats to one run on eight hits.