Harper homers, Wheeler strikes out 11 as Phillies complete 4-game sweep of Giants with 6-1 win

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Zack Wheeler struck out 11 in seven innings, Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer and Kyle Schwarber added a solo shot to help the Philadelphia Phillies complete a four-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants with a 6-1 win on Monday.

Harper went deep off Giants rookie Mason Black, spoiling the major league debut of the Giants right-hander, who pitched into the fifth inning against the team he grew up rooting for.

“I hope he enjoyed it with his family and his teammates and everything else, because you only get one debut,” Harper said.

This season's Phillies are winning as much as the ones Black cheered for as a kid.

The major league-leading Phillies (25-11) won their sixth straight and have won 10 of 11 and 17 of 20 to open a three-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East.

The Phillies have also won 10 straight games at Citizens Bank Park, just two wins shy of matching the team record set in 2012. Philadelphia also set a franchise record with 11 straight wins against NL West opponents.

“I feel like we’re winning in different ways every night. And it’s a different player coming up huge, whether it’s a hitter, a pitcher. It’s never the same guy, which is nice,” catcher J.T. Realmuto said. “There’s not too much pressure on one player. We all feel like we play really well together and we have a lot of fun, and guys contribute on a nightly basis.”

Harper homered for the second straight game and his eighth of the season made it 4-0 against Black (0-1). Black made his major league debut in front of his parents, younger brother, girlfriend and scores of friends and relatives who made the trip to watch him pitch against his boyhood favorite team.

The 24-year-old Black — named the seventh-best prospect in baseball, per MLB.com — was the Giants’ third-round pick in the 2021 draft out of Lehigh University. Black recorded a 1-2-3 first inning that included strikeouts of J.T. Realmuto and Harper, the latter caught looking at an 88 mph changeup.

Black gave up eight hits, five runs and three walks. He struck out four in 4 1/3 innings.

Wheeler (4-3) showed the rookie how it was done. He rebounded from an 0-3 start — he allowed six runs total in his first three starts — to win his fourth straight start. Wheeler allowed one run, walked one and lowered his ERA to 1.64.

“Wheels today did what Zack kind of does every time he goes out there. It was fun to watch and kept us in the game,” Harper said.

Matt Strahm tossed a scoreless eighth and Orion Kerkering pitched the ninth to complete the five-hitter.

With shortstop Trea Turner out at least six weeks with a left hamstring strain, his replacements are starting to fill the void. Bryson Stott moved from second base to shortstop and made a great grab on a grounder by Wilmer Flores in the first to start an inning-ending double play. Whit Merrifield started at second and gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the fourth.

Harper had a three-run shot in the fifth and Nick Castellanos, who hit 37 doubles last season, hit his first one of the year later in the inning for a 5-0 lead.

Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm went 0 for 4, ending his hitting streak at 18 games.

GIANTS SCUFFLING

The Giants lost for the sixth time in seven games and fell to 6-14 on the road. They lost two of three at Boston and finish their 10-game trip with three at Colorado, the only team that trails San Francisco in the NL West. Perhaps there will be a Mile High change of fortune for the Giants — they are 18-8 at Coors Field with a plus-51 run differential since 2021.

“We've got to clean it up,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We've got to play better. We left home, we were one game under .500, we weren't playing very well. I thought (the road) might be a pretty good place for us being that we hadn't played well. And now we're playing terrible."

UP NEXT

The Giants send LHP Kyle Harrison (2-1, 3.79 ERA) to the mound against Rockies RHP Dakota Hudson (0-5, 5.93) on Tuesday.

The Phillies stay home and open a two-game set against Toronto on Tuesday. They will send LHP Cristopher Sánchez (1-3, 3.68) to the mound against Blue Jays RHP José Berríos (4-2, 1.44).

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