Hoskins, streaking Phillies rout Nationals 11-5

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PHILADELPHIA — Rhys Hoskins homered in the first inning for the third straight game – the first Phillies player to do it since at least 1900 – and the surging Philadelphia Phillies routed the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Saturday night.

J.T. Realmuto and Matt Vierling also went deep for the surging Phillies, who have won nine of 10 to move a season-best 11-games over .500. Realmuto also tripled and drove in three runs and Jean Segura had three hits for Philadelphia, which will try for a four-game series sweep of the Nationals on Sunday.

The Phillies improved to 38-19 since June 1, which was the final game for manager Joe Girardi before being replaced by interim manager Rob Thomson.

Luke Voit homered and Lane Thomas had three hits and an RBI for Washington, which is an MLB-worst 36-73. The Nationals have lost eight of 10 overall and four of five since trading star slugger Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell to the San Diego Padres. They have dropped nine of 11 to the Phillies this year.

Hoskins hit a 440-foot solo drive to deep left with one out off Patrick Corbin (4-16) in the opening inning. Vierling, after making a stellar diving catch in center field for the first out of the game, followed with a three-run shot to left four batters later.

Bryson Stott‘s two-run triple made it 6-0, and Corbin was lifted after getting just two outs following a walk to Kyle Schwarber in the leadoff man’s second at-bat in the first inning. Corbin had gotten Schwarber to ground out leading off the first in his initial at-bat.

It was the sixth straight loss for Corbin, who signed a six-year, $140 million deal with Washington prior to the 2019 season. He gave up five hits and needed 43 pitches for those two outs while raising his season ERA to 7.02. In the last six contests, Corbin has a 12.46 ERA with 44 hits allowed in 21 innings.

Phillies starter Ranger Suarez (8-5) surrendered three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and two walks.

After Philadelphia scored three more times in the second to make it 9-0, the Nationals plated four runs in the sixth against Suarez and Nick Nelson via Voit’s leadoff homer and Tres Barrera‘s two-run double off Nelson that closed the book on Suarez.

Realmuto connected in the bottom of the frame for a two-run homer to center into the Philadelphia bullpen, where right-handed reliever Andrew Bellatti snagged the ball with a nice catch.

McBRIDE, REED HONORED

The Phillies honored OF Bake McBride and RHP Ron Reed with induction into the club’s Wall of Fame during a pregame ceremony. Both members of Philadelphia’s 1980 World Series championship team, McBride had a .770 OPS in five seasons for the Phillies while Reed posted a 3.06 ERA in 458 games, all but nine of which were out of the bullpen, over eight seasons.

ROSTER MOVES

The Phillies released OF Odubel Herrera and RHP Jeurys Familia. Both were designated for assignment on Tuesday after the club acquired OF Brandon Marsh and RHP David Robertson via trades.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: DH Nelson Cruz (stiff neck) returned to the lineup and went 1 for 3 with a pair of walks.

UP NEXT

Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-0, 1.00) will make his third career starter and oppose Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (7-8, 3.25) in the final contest of the four-game series on Sunday afternoon.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.