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Oct 22, 2023 2:42 am

Kyle Schwarber sets HR mark, Phillies down D-backs in Game 5

PHOENIX — After the Arizona Diamondbacks won in dramatic fashion in Games 3 and 4 at Chase Field to tie the National League Championship Series at two games apiece, Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson said he needed his team to show its resolve.

The Phillies answered with home runs by Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper and J.T Realmuto, and Zack Wheeler was effective on the mound in their 6-1 victory on Saturday.

“Winning a game here is huge, especially how we lost the first two here,” Thomson said. “It just shows the toughness of our club, the resiliency of our club because they’re not going to quit.”

The Phillies will look to wrap up the NLCS and make a return to the World Series when they play Game 6 of the best-of-seven series on Monday at Philadelphia, where they are 6-0 in the postseason.

Wheeler (3-0) followed his Game 1 victory in the series by keeping the Diamondbacks in check Saturday, striking out eight and walking one.

Arizona did not score in the first six innings against Wheeler despite having at least one baserunner in five of those frames.

“You can’t let them get momentum at home,” Wheeler said. “The crowd will get back into it. Try to shut that down the best you can and let your guys get the momentum.”

Philadelphia seized momentum from the start, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning after Schwarber led off with an infield single.

After Harper’s single that advanced Schwarber to second base, Bryson Stott singled to score Schwarber and move Harper to third base.

Stott and Harper then executed a double-steal attempt.

Arizona second baseman Ketel Marte received the throw from catcher Gabriel Moreno in front of the bag ahead of Stott. Marte returned the throw to Moreno with Harper charging toward home plate.

The errant throw hit the ground and bounced away from Moreno.

Harper scored to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead.

“We work on that a lot,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said about defending against the double steal. “I think if we just play pitch and catch and (Marte) drives the throw into home plate and gives Gabi a chance to catch that ball and lay the tag down on Harper, he is out by eight, 10 feet.”

Arizona starter Zac Gallen (2-2), the loser in Game 1, retired 11 straight batters after issuing a leadoff walk to Nick Castellanos in the second.

Schwarber snapped the string leading off the sixth inning with his fifth home run of the series, increasing the Phillies’ lead to 3-0.

He broke the record for most home runs in NLCS history with his 11th, a solo blast that went 461 feet to right field. Schwarber had been tied at 10 with Albert Pujols.

Schwarber also owns the major league record for postseason home runs by a left-handed batter with 20.

Two batters after Schwarber’s blast on Saturday, Harper hit a solo home run.

Harper and Schwarber are tied with Jayson Werth for the most home runs in Phillies postseason history with 11.

Alek Thomas, who belted the tying home run in the eighth inning of Friday’s victory, led off the seventh with another blast to right field to cut the lead to 4-1.

Realmuto hit a two-run home run with two outs in the eighth inning after reliever Luis Frias entered the game.

–Javier Morales, Field Level Media

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