Phillies break out, collect 21 XBHs in series
Franco, Howard homer in Sunday's victory to complete sweep over Cubs
CHICAGO -- If the Phillies trade Cole Hamels before Friday's 4 p.m. non-waiver Trade Deadline, they would love to get at least one power hitter in return.
The Phils entered this weekend's three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field ranked 26th in baseball with just 242 extra-base hits. But they had 21 in the series against Chicago, including a season-high eight Saturday and again Sunday in an 11-5 victory.
They were the most extra-base hits in a three-game stretch for the Phillies since June 14-16, 2001, when they also had 21. The power surge helped Philadelphia to its first road series sweep since July 7-10, 2014, in Milwaukee.
"We've seen our offense the whole year," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "But the reason you play the young guys ... Freddy [Galvis], and [Cesar] Hernandez and [Maikel] Franco, all these guys in the game. [Domonic] Brown is starting to come around, [Cody] Asche is starting to come around, [Odubel] Herrera looks like he's learned a lot. You kind of hope it comes around in this manner to where you're putting some runs on the board and consistent at-bats. And we're getting more consistent at-bats from these guys, and I think that's why we're scoring more runs."
Ryan Howard and Franco homered Sunday. Herrera, Asche and Brown tripled. Franco, Brown and Cameron Rupp doubled.
Six Phillies had multihit games, including Brown, who went 3-for-4.
Brown needs to step up if he wants to keep playing. He is batting .333 (15-for-45) with two doubles, one triple, five RBIs and a .770 OPS in his past 14 games. But the Phillies need to see more power from Brown. Sunday was a start.
"Just out there really just grinding, really," Brown said. "I'm just doing whatever I can do for the team. Having a lot of fun, though, for sure. I just play baseball, man.
"I know what I can do on the field. It ain't nothing with confidence or anything like that. I just play. It's just a matter of time before stuff starts falling. It's baseball."