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Jun 2, 2024 10:16 am

MLB-best Phillies aim to keep rolling against Cardinals

phillies cardinals

The Philadelphia Phillies hope the new month yields the same results as the last one.

The Phillies finished May with a 20-7 mark by beating the visiting St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 Friday. Philadelphia then started June by defeating the Cardinals 6-1 Saturday, and at 41-18, has the best record in the major leagues.

The Phillies will go for the sweep when the teams close their three-game series Sunday night.

Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson noted that a strong all-around performance led to the club’s success last month.

“We’ve been very consistent,” Thomson said. “We’ve had good at-bats, which creates runs. And our starters are giving us length, which helps the bullpen.”

That bullpen came through Saturday. Starting pitcher Ranger Suarez had to leave the game after the second inning with a left-hand contusion, suffered when Alec Burleson hit him with a line drive.

The pitcher was able to throw the ball to first base for the out. The Phillies were relieved when X-rays on Suarez’s hand came back negative.

“No doubt, (we) feel pretty lucky right now,” said Thomson, who said the swelling around Suarez’s thumb could cause him to miss a start.

After Suarez (9-1, 1.70 ERA) exited Saturday’s game, five Philadelphia relievers held the Cardinals to one run and five hits over the final seven innings.

That heavy bullpen usage will put the onus on Phillies starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (3-1, 5.51 ERA) to provide some length Sunday.

Walker took the loss in an 8-4 defeat to the San Francisco Giants on Monday. He allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks while striking out four.

He is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA in six career starts against the Cardinals.

The Cardinals, who had won 12 of 15 games entering this series. will try to avoid the sweep with right-hander Lance Lynn (2-3, 3.45 ERA) drawing the start.

After allowing four runs in three straight starts, Lynn gave up just one earned run and three unearned runs on seven hits over 12 innings in his past two. He struck out 10 in those games against the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles and walked three.

Lynn suffered from poor fielding support in his 3-1 loss to the Reds at Cincinnati on Monday. Third baseman Nolan Arenado and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt made errors in the second inning, allowing two unearned runs to score.

“That happens,” Lynn said after the game. “We’ve been playing really well. Today, we just — you know, we got beat. I made a couple mistakes.”

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol praised Lynn for not letting the mishaps derail his outing.

“He kept going after guys,” Marmol said. “At one point, he struck out five out of seven. He was competing well. So for that second inning to play out the way it did, him not give in and still get us through six with some ease to that too, I felt like that was a strong outing for sure.”

On April 10, Lynn allowed two unearned runs on one hit and four walks against the Phillies over five innings. The Cardinals lost that game 4-3.

Lynn is 2-0 with a 3.07 ERA in five career starts against Philadelphia.

Cardinals outfielder/infielder Brendan Donovan is questionable for Sunday’s game after sitting out the first two games of the series with neck soreness.

–Field Level Media

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