Phillies hope magical homestand continues against Twins

The Philadelphia Phillies will look for their fourth consecutive victory when they host the Minnesota Twins on Saturday evening

After winning three of four against the Washington Nationals, the Phillies hit three home runs in a 13-2 victory over the Twins on Friday

Bryson Stott, J.T. Realmuto and Johan Rojas homered for Philadelphia. Trea Turner added three hits and two RBIs while Nick Castellanos ripped three hits and added an RBI

Thanks to starting 6-2 on their current 10-game homestand, the Phillies improved to a season-best 13 games above .500 and own a 2 1/2-game lead over the San Francisco Giants for the National League’s top wild-card playoff spot

“The way this team is jelling with some new players coming in — it’s kind of the same thing as last year (when the Phillies reached the World Series)”, Realmuto said on a postgame interview on NBC10. “We’re having fun. We’re winning games.

“I’ve been saying all along that the offense is gonna get going,” manager Rob Thomson added

Kyle Schwarber had two hits and an RBI before fouling a ball off his foot with no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. He was replaced in the middle of an at-bat by Rodolfo Castro

“He was sore,” Thomson said of Schwarber, whose injury was described as a contusion. “We’ll re-evaluate in the morning.

Bryce Harper also sat out with back spasms after departing Thursday’s game against the Nationals and is considered day-to-day

The Phillies will hand the ball to right-hander Taijuan Walker (13-4, 3.98 ERA) on Saturday. Walker allowed seven hits and four runs in seven innings in his previous start against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday

“He just competes even if he doesn’t have his good stuff,” Thomson said after Walker became the first pitcher at the time to reach 13 wins this season

Walker is 2-1 with a 4.34 ERA in three career starts against the Twins

The Twins lost three in a row to the Detroit Tigers before being pummeled by the Phillies. The goal now is to bounce back and even the series

Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler gave the Twins an early 2-0 lead in the second inning Friday with back-to-back homers, but that basically was the extent of the offense in the 11-run loss. Polanco and Michael A. Taylor had two hits each

“It was a very lopsided game, but our guys continued to play hard,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “In a game like that, you may not win that game. But you need to keep playing.

Pablo Lopez (7-6, 3.81) is expected to start for the Twins on Saturday

Lopez was effective in his most recent start, against the Tigers on Monday, as he gave up five hits and no runs in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked none for his second straight victory

“We talk to him about attacking the zone, and he’s attacking the zone,” Baldelli said. “He had good command and he threw strikes.

In Lopez’s last four starts, he’s 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA, 28 strikeouts and just three walks in 25 innings

Lopez is 3-1 with a 3.09 ERA in eight career starts against the Phillies, all while he pitched for the Miami Marlins from 2018-22

The Twins sent left-handed reliever Brent Headrick to Triple-A St. Paul after he threw 67 pitches over 3 1/3 innings Friday. They’ll need to make a corresponding move for Saturday’s game

–Field Level Medi

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