MIAMI – Aaron Nola struck out 10 and pitched scoreless ball into the ninth inning as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 4-0 Sunday for a three-game sweep.
Yairo Munoz homered to help Philadelphia head into the All-Star break at 49-43. Even minus injured star Bryce Harper, the Phillies showed a dramatic turnaround after manager Joe Girardi was fired on June 3, going 27-14 under Rob Thomson.
“This is a confidence builder, absolutely,” Thomson said. “Obviously, momentum going into the break, rest up and then come back out firing.”
“Just stuck with my same approach and tried to make the best pitches that I could,” Nola said.
“The ninth hasn’t been my best friend the last several times I’ve been in the ninth,” Nola said. “Alvarado came in and shut the door.”
Nola extended his string of starts of at least seven innings to eight, the second-longest active streak in the major leagues behind Miami ace Sandy Alcantara, who has 13.
“He managed his pitch count extremely well, he was unbelievable,” Thomson said.
The Phillies posted their first three-game sweep in Miami since 2010.
The Marlins scored one run in the series. They have not homered in eight games, the second-longest drought in club history – Miami teams in 1993 and 2019 failed to go deep in nine straight games.
“Things look really bad when you’re not swinging the bats,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It looks like your team has no energy. It doesn’t mean guys aren’t trying but you go inning after inning and not get anything going, it’s hard to have that when nothing is going on.”
The Phillies scored all their runs in the fourth. Alec Bohm and Matt Vierling had consecutive RBI doubles and Munoz hit a two-run homer. Munoz drove the first pitch from Trevor Rogers (4-9) over the wall in left for his third homer.
Before their sweep, the Phillies were 0-6-1 in the last seven road series against Miami.
“It’s definitely big to come down here and get a series sweep,” Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber said.
Rogers went six innings, allowing seven hits, striking out four and plunking two batters. Miami designated hitter Jesus Aguilar didn’t last that long – he was ejected in the second by plate umpire Ron Kulpa for arguing balls and strikes.
MORE SWINGS FOR SCHWARBER
While many of his teammates will have a lengthier All-Star break, Schwarber will head to Los Angeles and compete in the Home Run Derby on Monday. Schwarber, who leads the NL with 29 homers, will face three-time MVP Albert Pujols in the first round.
“It’s like a childhood dream,” Schwarber said. “I grew up in Cincinnati so I watched him. To go up against him in the Home Run Derby, wow. It’s like a bucket-list item.”
IMPROVEMENTS AT THE BREAK
The Phillies were 44-44 at the All-Star break last year. They haven’t had Harper, the reigning the NL MVP, since his thumb was broken by a pitch from San Diego’s Blake Snell on June 25.
The Marlins are 43-48. They were 39-51 at the break last year.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (right knee bruise) will not throw in a simulated game during the break after experiencing soreness Sunday. He will be re-evaluated Monday in Philadelphia. …RHP Sam Coonrod (right shoulder bruise) will go on a rehab assignment after the All-Star break.
Marlins: RHP Edward Cabrera (right shoulder tendinitis) completed three perfect innings in his rehab start Saturday at Double-A Pensacola. …RHP Anthony Bender (back stiffness) was scheduled to appear in a rehab outing Sunday at Single-A Jupiter.
Phillies: RHP Kyle Gibson (5-3, 4.35) will start the opener of a three-game home series against the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
Marlins: Have not announced the starter for its home game against Texas on Thursday.