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Alec Bohm's 5 RBIs, Kody Clemens stays hot help Philadelphia Phillies continue historic start

Philadelphia Phillies off to one of best starts in franchise history
Philadelphia Phillies off to one of best starts in franchise history 02:50

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Kody Clemens continues to show he's ready to stick in the major league longer than a Trea Turner IL stint. He's making the Philadelphia Phillies' decision that much tougher.

Clemens, earning the start at second base after his heroics the day prior, had the go-ahead double in the fifth inning that propelled the Phillies to an 11-5 victory over the Washington Nationals, completing the three-game sweep of their National League East counterparts.

Clemens finished 2 for 5 with two RBIs, both from the double he hit off Nationals left-hander Robert Garcia in a four-run fifth inning. The Phillies super-utility man continued his hot streak since his call-up for Turner. Clemens is hitting .321 with a 1.166 OPS.

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 19: Kody Clemens #2 of the Philadelphia Phillies gestures after he hit a two-run double against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on May 19, 2024, in Philadelphia. Rich Schultz / Getty Images

"I'm just trying to get my timing right," Clemens said. "Just trying to get my foot down and be ready on time for a fastball and react to offspeed. It feels really good right now. I'm seeing the ball well and I'm in a really good spot."

Alec Bohm started the scoring in the four-run fifth with a sacrifice fly to score Kyle Schwarber and tie the game at 3-3, setting the stage for Clemens to come through with a big base hit again.

With Harper and Bryson Stott on the bases, Clemens ripped his double to right field to score Harper and Stott, sending the largest crowd of the year (44,713) at Citizens Bank Park into a frenzy.

The double was Clemens's second game-tying and go-ahead hit in less than 24 hours. Clemens had the game-tying homer with two outs in the ninth Saturday night, prompting the Phillies to a 10-inning win. Nick Castellanos followed with an RBI single to score Clemens and extend the lead to 6-3, one of his three hits on the afternoon.

Bohm finished with five RBIs on the day, including a three-run home run in the eighth inning to put the Phillies up 11-3. He also made a key defensive play in the eighth inning, making a leaping grab to rob Luis Garcia of an extra-base hit with a runner on first to keep the Phillies lead at 8-3. 

Bohm carried that momentum to the plate in the bottom half of the inning, which is uncharacteristic for him given his approach to the game this year.

"I think you could say that in the past," Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. "I think he's mature enough now where he keeps everything on an even keel. He keeps himself poised and he believes in himself, which he should. He's a really good player and he's really improved defensively. And he's really improved offensively. He's talented."

Bohm leads all of MLB with 42 RBIs and is on pace for 142 for the season. Bohm and Luis Matos are the only players in baseball with multiple 5-RBI games.

There have been more good days this year than bad for Bohm, but he's keeping everything in perspective during his rise toward one of the top third basemen in the game.

"There's a lot I had to overcome to be an everyday player in the big leagues," Bohm said. "There's definitely times in the past where I let the bad days lead to more bad days or let a bad play lead to a bad day. I think just staying calm and playing the game has led to a bit of a difference this year." 

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 19: Alec Bohm #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates after he hit a three-run home run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on May 19, 2024, in Philadelphia. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 11-5. Rich Schultz / Getty Images

While Bohm is parlaying his start into an All-Star year, Clemens is hitting his way toward remaining on the Phillies' roster. Even with a numbers crunch in the infield once Turner returns, Clemens is giving the Phillies plenty to think about as his career is coming to a crossroads.

"It's tough to think about that," Clemens said. "I just try to go one day at a time and kind of just go back to believing in myself and knowing I can do this up here. I'm just trying to continue to help the team by having quality at-bats and playing good defense behind these great pitchers and just trying to pass the baton at the plate, really. I'm just trying to contribute as much as I can." 

Philadelphia is 20 games over .500 through May 19, not reaching 20 games over .500 until Sept. 27 last year (their highest mark of the season). The 34-14 start ties the 1976 and 1993 Phillies for the best record through 48 games in franchise history.

A special summer is on tap at Citizens Bank Park. This team is showing no signs of slowing down.

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