PHILADELPHIA — Rhys Hoskins homered twice, Kyle Schwarber hit a solo shot into shrubbery and Bryce Harper doubled to put the Philadelphia Phillies ahead for good in a wild 10-6 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night for a 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series.
Harper stood on second base after his hit and emphatically stated the ballpark was his house.
With one more win, it will be a home for the World Series.
J.T. Realmuto also homered for the big-hitting Phillies, who are trying to become the first third-place team to reach the Fall Classic.
The Phillies send ace Zack Wheeler to the mound in Game 5 Sunday at Citizens Bank Park to try and clinch their first National League pennant since 2009. They haven’t won the World Series since 2008.
No matter the outcome, Game 4 was one to remember in Philly.
The Phillies trailed 4-0 in the first and then chipped away, slugged away and finally put away the Padres. The clincher came in a four-run fifth inning against reliever Sean Manaea. Trailing 6-4, Schwarber walked to start the rally. Hoskins then ripped his second homer of the game — no bat spike, but just as dramatic — for the tying shot. Realmuto walked to set the stage for Harper.
The 2021 NL MVP lined the go-ahead double that rolled to the left-center wall for a 7-6 lead as the Philly crowd absolutely exploded. Harper ran his hands across the script “Phillies” on his chest and exclaimed, “This is my (expletive) house!”
The Phillies fans refused to sit — and they had no reason to the rest of the game. Nick Castellanos singled in Harper to complete the scoring in the fifth.
Schwarber smashed the ball into the shrubs in dead center in the sixth for his third homer of this series and Realmuto punctuated the scoring with a solo shot in the seventh.
The Padres and Phillies had already nearly stuffed nine innings worth of commotion into 48 minutes of a frenzied first.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson picked Bailey Falter to start Game 4 after a 17-day layoff and hoped the lefty could at least go once through the order. He couldn’t do much beyond retire the first two batters. Manny Machado rocked a homer to left and answered the chants of “Manny Sucks!” by cupping his right hand to his ear as he rounded the bases.
Falter let the next two runners reach and Brandon Drury lined a two-RBI double off the right field wall for a 3-0 lead. That was it for Falter. Reliever Connor Brogdon allowed an RBI single to Ha-Seong Kim to make it 4-0.
Bad outing for Falter? Absolutely.
The worst for a starting pitcher? Nope.
Mike Clevinger allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the first and then Hoskins’ first homer of the game that cut the lead to 4-2. He walked Realmuto and Harper hit an RBI double to make it 4-3. Harper stood on second and ran his hands along the “Phillies” on his jersey as the crowd and Citizens Bank Park began to shake.
So much for Clevinger, out of the game without recording an out.
By the time No. 5 hitter Castellanos batted, there had been four total pitchers and three total outs. The combined first inning totals saw seven runs, seven hits, two homers, two doubles — oh, and the fun was just getting started.
Brogdon and Padres reliever Nick Martinez actually steadied the game, as they combined to retire 16 straight over 5 1/3 shutout innings.
That was the lone stretch of normalcy in this one. Not even the red rally towels frantically waved by another sellout crowd of 45,467 got as much of a workout as both bullpens.
Bryson Stott lined an opposite-field single to left in the fourth that tied the game 4-all and gave the Phillies new life.
Well, for a few pitches, at least.
Because the much-maligned Brad Hand, the fourth pitcher of the game, coughed up the lead in the fifth. He issued a one-out walk and then Juan Soto lined a two-run homer to right, his first of the postseason and first since Oct. 1 against the White Sox.
It was 6-4 Padres.
And it was the beginning of the end.
Wheeler faces Padres RHP Yu Darvish (2-1, 2.84 ERA in the postseason)
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