By DAN GELSTON
AP Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Rhys Hoskins hit a pair of solo home runs and Kyle Schwarber added a three-run shot to lead the red-hot Philadelphia Phillies to their eighth straight win, 7-5 over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.
The Phillies returned home from a three-game sweep of Milwaukee and mashed and bashed again against the Diamondbacks. The Phillies are a sterling 7-0 under interim manager Rob Thomson.
With Bryce Harper leading the charge, the Phillies are poised to make a summer run at an NL wild-card spot as they enter the softest spot of their schedule. The Phillies opened a six-game homestand against the sub-.500 Diamondbacks and Marlins. Then come four games at Washington (only the Reds are worse in the NL) and two games at Texas.
That’s 13 straight games against teams with losing records until June 23 against San Diego.
Don’t count the Phillies (29-29) among the teams with losing marks — they are at .500 for the first time since they were 17-17 on May 14.
“You’ve got to be careful because these are major league teams,” Thomson said. “Anybody can beat anybody else on any given night and that’s kind of going to be our message. You’ve got to go out and play the same way you play against Milwaukee, high energy. I really liked the energy level. I really liked the offensive approach.”
The Phillies played great of late against aces. They chased NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes in the fifth inning of Thursday’s 8-3 win in Milwaukee and Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen (4-2) gave up seven hits and six runs in just 1 1/3 innings and the shortest start of his career.
Turned out, the omens were against Arizona from the start.
The Phillies welcomed 8-year-old Caden Marge and his family to the game after he was caught on camera praying for — then wildly celebrating for — the team after Bryson Stott’s game-winning, three-run home run Sunday against the Angels. The Phillies might want to gift the kid season tickets. Marge was in the team’s broadcast booth when the Phillies scored five runs in the second inning.
Hoskins staked Kyle Gibson (4-2) to an early lead with a one-out solo homer in the first inning. Schwarber hit a three-run shot off Gallen in the second for a 5-0 lead.
Gibson gave up Daulton Varsho’s ninth homer of the year in the sixth, then combined with Brad Hand to give up four runs in the seventh that made it 6-5. Seranthony Dominguez struck out Christian Walker looking on a 90 mph slider that left the tying run stranded at second.
Hoskins provided a cushion with his second solo shot of the game and 11th homer of the season in the seventh.
Corey Knebel worked the ninth for his 11th save.
The Phillies entered 2½ games out of the third NL wild-card spot and another big crowd — they’re growing again at Citizens Bank Park — had to scoreboard watch (OK, scroll Twitter) for the latest updates. And why not? Their manager is taking a peek.
“I’m always watching the scoreboard,” Thomson said.
For the eighth straight time, the scoreboard posted a W for the Phillies.
Thomson is the first manager to win his first seven games sine Joe Morgan won 12 straight with the Boston Red Sox in 1988.
Phillies reinstated RHP Zack Wheeler (4-3, 3.14 ERA) off the paternity list and outrighted INF Scott Kingery to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The Phillies send Wheeler to the mound against LHP Madison Bumgarner (2-5, 3.64 ERA) in the second game of a three-game set.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.