Stott, Schwarber and Castellanos homer to help Phillies down Royals 8-4
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bryson Stott, Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos homered, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals 8-4 on Sunday.
Bryce Harper had two hits and drove in a run for the defending champion Phillies, who have won five of seven. Philadelphia began play in second in the NL wild-card standings.
“I felt like we did a really good job this whole series responding,” Schwarber said.
MJ Melendez homered for Kansas City.
Taijuan Walker (13-4) recovered from a shaky first inning to become the first major league pitcher to reach 13 victories.
“He just competes even if he doesn’t have his good stuff,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said.
The Phillies went ahead for good on Schwarber’s 28th homer in the second, a 421-foot drive to center off Zack Greinke (1-12) that made it 5-4. The two-run shot stopped an 0-for-19 skid.
“I always have confidence in him,” Thomson said.
Castellanos tacked on a two-run shot to left in the fifth, and Harper hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Kansas City tagged Walker for three runs on five hits in the first, but the Phillies evened the score in the bottom half on Stott’s opposite-field drive to left with two down.
“That changed the momentum,” Thomson said.
After Melendez made it 4-3 in the second with a solo shot, Walker settled down and allowed just one more hit. The 30-year-old right-hander finished seven innings of seven-hit ball.
Walker is trying to figure out why his velocity has started slow in the last two outings, but his mentality remains the same.
“My job is to go out there and give the team the best chance to win,” he said.
The struggles continued for Greinke, a six-time All-Star. He left after surrendering five runs and seven hits in four innings.
Royals second baseman Michael Massey and shortstop Maikel Garcia combined on a sensational putout of Stott in the third inning. Massey snared Stott’s hard-hit grounder while diving to his right, flipped the ball out of his glove to Garcia, who fired to first base to just get the speedy Stott.
“Incredible,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said.
Stott responded with his own stellar defensive play two innings later, robbing Matt Beaty of an RBI hit with a diving grab.
Center fielder Kyle Isbel took extra bases away from Harper in the seventh with a leaping grab of his drive to the wall in center. The Phillies did score on the sacrifice fly.
Harper extended his on-base streak to 14 consecutive games with a first-inning double.
Garcia made it 10 contests in a row with a hit when he singled in the first.
Kansas City has lost 30 of 34 series after dropping two of three to the Phillies. Still, Quatraro was pleased with the direction in which his club is headed. The Royals won seven in a row before Saturday’s loss.
“They played well this series,” Quatraro said of his club.
TURNING UP TURNER
Trea Turner doubled in the first inning and finished 1 for 4. Since the Phillies fans responded to a social media campaign to loudly cheer the slumping slugger beginning on Friday night, Turner is 4 for 12 with a three-run homer, two doubles and five RBIs.
Royals: C Salvador Pérez exited with a left hand contusion after being hit by a pitch from Walker in the second. X-rays after the game were negative, Quatraro said.
Phillies: Placed OF Brandon Marsh on the 10-day injured list with a left knee contusion. Marsh got hurt during Saturday night’s 9-6 victory over Kansas City when he crashed into the center-field wall trying to catch Samad Taylor’s fifth-inning triple. Weston Wilson was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Marsh’s spot on the roster.
Royals: Open four-game series at Boston on Monday night. Royals LHP Cole Ragans (3-3, 4.33 ERA) opposes Red Sox RHP Brayan Bello (8-6, 3.79 ERA).
Phillies: Start a four-game home series versus Washington on Monday night. Phillies LHP Ranger Suárez (2-5, 4.01 ERA) faces Nationals RHP Trevor Williams (5-6, 4.72 ERA).
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