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Beating the best: Phillies 8, Rays 4

Add “road series W against AL leaders” to the résumé

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Going into this series, the Rays were 34-10 at home with a single series dropped 2-1 at the hands of the Astros back in April. Now they’re on the verge of surrendering a sweep at the Trop for the first time since last September.

The Phillies’ road win streak has reached 11, now only two away from tying the franchise record.

The Rays got the scoring started in the bottom of the first on a two-RBI double by Brandon Lowe.

After a leadoff walk to Yandy Diaz, Walker got back to back to strikeouts before giving up a single to Randy Arozarena to put runners on first and second. Lowe chased a 1-1 cutter and caught a piece of it for a weak fly to shallow left that landed just beyond the reach of Trea Turner. Turner bobbled the catch off the bounce allowing both baserunners to score.

The Phils dug out of the hole in the top of the second on the power of four straight singles by JT Realmuto, Bryson Stott, Alec Bohm and Darick Hall.

Walker started the bottom of the second with a strikeout of Josh Lowe before allowing a four-pitch walk to Taylor Walls. Walls would steal second on the next pitch and came around to score on a single by Francisco Mejia.

After a Nick Castellanos ground-out to second erased a Turner single, Bryce Harper hit a two-out laser down the right field line that bounced out of play for a ground rule double. Harper hustled home on Realmuto’s second single of the night to again bring the scoring back even.

Luke Raley got the Rays’ lead back in the bottom of the third on a lofty fly ball that smacked off the right field foul pole for a solo homer.

Turner matched Raley in the top of the fifth with his own solo shot off the foul pole, this time to left field.

Realmuto got his third hit of the evening on a double, his 20th of the year. Stott brought him home on an RBI single, his third hit of the night as well, to give the Phils their first lead of the night.

Castellanos extended the Phils’ lead to two in the top of the sixth on a first-pitch solo homer to deep center.

Brandon Marsh made it 8-4 on a two-out, two-run single in the top of the seventh.

Walker went 7.0 IP with 8 Ks. He allowed only three base runners on three walks after the third inning, two of which were negated by double plays.

Walker became the first Phillies starter to record double digit victories prior to the All Star break since Aaron Nola in 2018. Zach Wheeler led the team with 12 wins last season.

For the second time in the last four days, the offense amassed 17+ hits. Five guys recorded multiple hits, including the 5-6-7 hitters (Realmuto, Stott, Bohm) who each reached base safely four times. It was as clutch as it was prolific, as they erased three separate deficits in the run column and collected five of their eight runs with two outs.

Cristopher Sanchez will look to secure the sweep and extend the streak tomorrow night.