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May 6, 2024 12:50 am

Phillies’ Zack Wheeler hopes to keep cruising vs. Giants

zack wheeler

Zack Wheeler is looking to win his fourth consecutive start as the Philadelphia Phillies close a four-game series against the visiting San Francisco Giants on Monday afternoon.

Wheeler will be trying to help the Phillies finish off a four-game sweep of the Giants. Philadelphia has won five straight games, nine of its past 10 and 16 of its past 19.

San Francisco has dropped five of its past six contests.

Wheeler (3-3, 1.91 ERA) was winless in his first four starts of the campaign before allowing one run and seven hits in 18 1/3 innings over his past three outings.

The right-hander tossed 7 1/3 innings of one-hit shutout ball against the Chicago White Sox on April 20, leaving immediately after allowing his lone hit. Wheeler gave up one hit in six shutout innings five days later while beating the Cincinnati Reds.

He received an extra day of rest prior to his latest outing and allowed one run and five hits over five innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.

“I think it was more just routine this time, having more days rest, not being as sharp, I think that’s part of it,” Wheeler said of his most recent start. “Some points in the season you probably need it, but it’s just another day of trying to keep that rhythm that I’ve had going, just another day to try to keep it in sync.”

Wheeler is 2-3 with a 3.81 ERA in nine career starts against the Giants. San Francisco’s Matt Chapman (1-for-8) has homered off Wheeler.

Wheeler surely can expect some offensive support, as the Phillies have scored at least five runs in eight of their past 10 games.

Philadelphia scored a season-high 14 runs in Saturday’s victory and used Bryce Harper’s three-run homer as the big blow in a 5-4 win on Sunday night. Alec Bohm also extended his hitting streak to 18 games on Sunday.

“You can go on and on about the team and how everybody is playing and going about it right now,” Harper said. “It’s a collective winning culture that we have here and it’s a lot of fun.”

The Giants will turn to highly regarded prospect Mason Black in the series finale. The right-hander will be making his major league debut.

Black, San Francisco’s No. 7 prospect, is a native of Scranton, Pa. Naturally, he is looking forward to his debut occurring in front of family and friends.

“It’s kind of storybook,” Black told reporters. “Being so close to home, hopefully having a chance to have a lot of people come up and see. It’s really exciting.”

Black, 24, was a third-round pick in 2021 out of Lehigh. He has been dominant at Triple-A Sacramento this season, going 2-1 with a 1.01 ERA in six starts.

Giants manager Bob Melvin is looking forward to seeing how Black fares.

“He definitely deserves it based on what he’s done at Triple-A,” Melvin said. “To be able to come here and get his first start — it’s not the easiest opponent in the world — but I think he’s just got to insulate on, ‘I’m a big leaguer now,’ and go out there and do his thing and stay with his strengths.”

Thairo Estrada hit a two-run homer and Jakson Reetz smacked his first long ball in the majors during Sunday’s loss.

–Field Level Media

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