MLB-best Phillies off to best 50-game start in franchise history

PHILADELPHIA — Rob Thomson watched Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto hit solo homers and Edmundo Sosa hit a three-run shot to lead the Philadelphia Phillies past the Texas Rangers 11-4 on Wednesday night in a game that gave them the best 50-game start in baseball since Seattle in 2001 and came away with one question about the Mariners.

“What’d they do?” Thomson asked.

The third-year Phillies manager asked the rhetorical question because he knew exactly the fate of those Mariners who started 38-12 and went on to tie an MLB record with 116 wins.

The Mariners failed to win the World Series.

“That’s right,” Thomson said. “So you’ve got to keep going. You’ve got to keep grinding, keep pushing all the way through.”

Realmuto extended his hitting streak to 12 games and added three RBIs, and Alec Bohm hit a two-RBI double in the sixth inning that made it 10-3 and gave him an National League-best 46 RBIs.

Already boasting the best record in baseball, the Phillies are 36-14 — the best start over 50 games in franchise history, and they are just the 26th team in National League history to win at least 36 games over the first 50 played. The 1998 Braves were the last to get off to such a fast start.

The Phillies had never been better than 35-15 (1993, 1976) through their first 50 games over the course of franchise history that dates to 1883.

The Phillies won their fifth straight game and 17th of their past 20. They’re 21-8 at home and winners of 17 of 19 at Citizens Bank Park.

“We know that in any situation we’re put in, we can come through it,” Realmuto said. “We have a chance to win every game no matter where we’re at. If we’re down late, we have confidence in ourselves. I think that just speaks to the culture that we’ve built here.”

Matt Strahm (3-0) pitched 1⅓ scoreless innings to pick up the win in relief.

The good times are rolling in Philly — though it took a hot minute during a game in which temperatures hovered near 90 degrees at first pitch. Leody Taveras crushed a solo homer off Phillies starter Taijuan Walker in the second and the Rangers actually led 2-0.

The early hole was nothing but a pesky inconvenience for this year’s Phillies. They took advantage of two errors in the second inning by the World Series champions to tie the game 2-all.

Brandon Marsh‘s RBI single made it 2-1. Marsh then tried to steal second only for Rangers starter Dane Dunning (3-3) to wheel around and throw the ball into center field, bringing home the tying run. Marsh was just getting started on a big night; the left fielder threw out Corey Seager at third base in the fourth inning on Adolis Garcia‘s hit into the corner.

Realmuto’s sixth homer of the year in the third made it 3-2, and he knocked in two more in the sixth with a bases-loaded single for an 8-3 lead.

Dunning left with two runners in the fourth after he threw 74 pitches in his first start since he returned from the injured list. Dunning was sidelined by a right rotator cuff strain.

Manager Bruce Bochy brought in Jonathan Hernandez, and the move instantly backfired. Sosa crushed one off the end of the bat and hit a three-run homer to right on the reliever’s first pitch that made it 6-2.

Walker struck out five but allowed three runs in 4⅔ innings.

ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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