Harper, Phils win 7th in a row, hand Brews 6th straight loss

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MILWAUKEE – Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and Odubel Herrera homered as interim manager Rob Thomson and the streaking Philadelphia Phillies won their season-high seventh straight game, beating the sagging Milwaukee Brewers 8-3 on Thursday.

At 6-0, Thomson is off to the best start by a first-time major league manager since Boston’s Joe Morgan won his first 12 games in 1988, the Elias Sports Bureau said.

“We just got to keep going,” Harper said, “doing the things we’re doing, playing the game the right way, not overlook anybody that we play and just take it one game at a time.”

The NL Central-leading Brewers lost their season-worst sixth in a row.

“We just can’t get anything going, unfortunately,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “You get kind of knocked down, and you got to grind through it and keep going.”

It was the second consecutive three-game sweep for the Phillies under Thomson. He took over last Friday after manager Joe Girardi was fired, and Philadelphia swept the Los Angeles Angels before heading to Milwaukee.

Didi Gregorius singled, tripled, doubled and drove in a run for Philadelphia.

Andrew McCutchen singled home a run in the ninth to pull Milwaukee within five runs. With two on and two outs, Jace Peterson then was initially ruled safe on an RBI single, but was called out after a replay reversal.

Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes (3-4) and Phillies starter Zach Eflin were both out of the game by the end of the fifth.

“Being able to get Corbin out of there in the fifth inning at 100 or whatever pitches he threw, I thought we battled as best we could and got into their bullpen as best as we could,” Harper said. “To be able to come here and sweep in their ballpark, that’s huge for us.”

Thomson agreed with Harper about the importance of chasing Burnes, who threw a season-high 113 pitches, 67 for strikes.

“The biggest thing was that we just laid out good at bats on Burnes and put his pitch count way up there and got him out of the game,” Thomson said. “Then, they got to use the weaker part of the bullpen.”

Harper homered for the second straight day, connecting off Brad Boxberger for his 15th of the season, a solo drive in the seventh for a 4-2 lead.

Schwarber hit his 15th home run, a two-run drive off Trevor Kelley in the eighth. Herrera, who homered in a 10-0 romp Wednesday night, added a two-run drive in the ninth.

Hunter Renfroe and Willy Adames homered for Milwaukee.

Seranthony Dominguez (3-1) pitched one inning for the win.

“The bullpen did a great job all the way through,” Thomson said of the five relievers he used in the game.

Eflin walked three to snap his streak of 33 consecutive starts with two walks or fewer since Aug. 29, 2020. He allowed a run and four hits in four innings.

“All sides of the ball, everybody is playing well,” Eflin said. “The boys did a great job of picking me up today.”

Burnes walked a career-high four and gave up three runs, one of them earned, and three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out eight and left after throwing a season-high 113 pitches.

“I think both starting pitchers had the same same day, really,” Counsell said. “I think the hitters did a pretty good job on both sides. I think there was a ton of close pitches that didn’t get called strikes and extended innings.”


Phillies: RHP Zack Wheeler is scheduled to come off the paternity list and start Saturday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. … LHP Ryan Sherriff and LHP Kent Emanuel will begin rehab assignments with Clearwater (A) tonight.

Brewers: Adames started at short for the second straight game after being reinstated Friday from the 10-day injured list (high left ankle sprain). He went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his return. . C Omar Narvaez should come off the injured list (COVID-19) soon. “He’s been cleared,” Counsell said. “So, he will fly with us to Washington.” Narvaez was placed on the list June 2.


Since 2021, the Phillies are 75-34 in games when Harper scores at least one run, including 20-9 in those games this year.

He now has a NL-best 35 extra-base hits.


Phillies: RHP Kyle Gibson (3-2, 4.40 ERA) opens the three-game home series against RHP Zac Gallen (4-1, 2.40) and the Diamondbacks.

Brewers: LHP Aaron Ashby (1-4. 3.13 ERA) takes the mound in the opener of a three-game road series against Erick Fedde (3-4, 4.88) and the Washington Nationals.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.