WASHINGTON (AP) — Kyle Schwarber hit a pair of three run homers, Drew Ellis hit his first two home runs of the season, and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Washington Nationals 11-3 on Sunday to take the rubber game of the series.
J.T. Realmuto went deep for the second day in a row for the Phillies, who finished a 4-6 road trip. Nick Castellanos had three hits.
Schwarber broke open a 2-1 game with his first homer, in the sixth, and added his second in the ninth. It was his 23rd career multi-homer game and first of the season. The two-time defending National League Player of the Month for June went 5 for 15 in the weekend series, raising his average to .172.
“It could be a coincidence I guess. I don’t know,” Schwarber said of his history of June success. “But I’ve got to be able to keep going out there and keep putting in quality at-bats. That’s just what I try to tell myself each and every day.”
Ellis, who began the day with one career Major League home run, hit a solo shot in the fifth and a two-run homer in the seventh just beyond the reach of a leaping Alex Call. He also walked twice and singled in five plate appearances, and scored four runs.
The 27-year-old Ellis was released by the Mariners in March and signed to a minor-league contract by the Phillies on April 16. He was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday when Alec Bohm was placed on the injured list and started all three games in the series
“I think just getting consistent at-bats really helps,” Ellis said. “I’ve talked to Nick quite a bit and he’s helped me out with just riding this wave as long as possible.”
Philadelphia starter Ranger Suárez (1-2) allowed at least one baserunner in all but one of his seven innings while giving up one run on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts. He improved to 6-0 with a 3.13 ERA in 12 career outings, five starts, against Washington.
“I counted three or four hard hit balls, so he stayed off the barrel, kept them off balance,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said of Suárez. “I thought he was really good.”
Ildemaro Vargas had a homer and a double for the Nationals.
Trevor Williams (2-4) was charged with four runs on six hits. He struck out six and walked four.
With two on and two out in the sixth following an infield hit by Ellis off Williams, right-hander Andres Machado came on to face lefty Schwarber as Washington has no left-handers in its bullpen. Schwarber homered to right-center on a 1-2 pitch to make it 5-1.
“I think I missed that pitch,” Machado said. “I tried to go inside, it ran a little bit over the middle.”
ALWAYS GREAT TO SEE YOU
The Phillies are 26-4 (.867 winning percentage) in their past 30 games versus the Nationals. That’s their most wins in a 30-game span against any opponent since 1887-89 when they won 26 of 30 against the Indianapolis Hoosiers.
STRASBURG NOT CLOSE
Right-hander Stephen Strasburg, 34, who last pitched for the Nationals on June 9, 2022, remains inactive as he attempts to return following surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.
“Everything’s still the same. He’s shut down right now from baseball activity. I know he’s working hard. I can’t say exactly what the outcome’s gonna be,” manager Dave Martinez said before the game. “But I know that it’s been frustrating for him and it’s been an ongoing deal. I wish Stephen the best no matter what happens moving forward. I just want him to get healthy.”
Phillies: LHP José Alvarado (left elbow inflammation) began his rehab assignment Saturday night, pitching a scoreless inning for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He gave up one hit and struck out one. He’ll pitch for Double-A Reading on Tuesday or Wednesday and could rejoin the Phillies next weekend.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (4-4, 4.70) pitches the opener of a three-game home series against Detroit on Monday. He is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three career starts versus the Tigers.
Nationals: RHP Jake Irvin (1-3, 5.67) starts Tuesday in the first of three games against visiting Arizona. The rookie is 0-2 with a 7.47 ERA in four starts at Nationals Park.
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