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Edmundo Sosa seizing chance in everyday role as Phillies continue to roll in Trea Turner's absence

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Edmundo Sosa is getting the opportunity to play regularly with Trea Turner out. Needless to say, he's taking advantage of the opportunity.

Sosa hasn't had an opportunity to play every day since the 2021 season with the St. Louis Cardinals, playing the middle infield role on a team that won 90 games and made the playoffs. He's been a valuable utility infielder and bench piece on two Phillies teams that have gone deep into the postseason over the last two years.

This year, Phillies manager Rob Thompson called on Sosa to be the primary shortstop in Turner's absence. Sosa accepted the challenge, knowing what the Phillies needed from him over this six-week stretch.

"I just go out and have fun. That's the key for success," Sosa said. "I go out and enjoy my game and above everything, I try to help my team win. I just kept working the same way that I've done. 

"I think I'm a renewed player. I'm more intelligent, more prepared for the situation because of the experience that I've gotten and that's helped me a lot." 

Sosa continued his hot stretch at the plate in Thursday's 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers, as the Phillies completed the series sweep of the defending World Series champions. He finished 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored, all coming in a three-run fourth inning that sparked the Phillies to victory. 

Texas Rangers v Philadelphia Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 23: Edmundo Sosa #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after hitting a single during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Citizens Bank Park on May 23, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. / Getty Images

Sosa started the rally with a double to center field with one out. Whit Merrifield followed by hitting a ground ball to shortstop but reached on a throwing error by Josh Smith. With runners on first and third, the stage was set for Cristian Pache, another bench piece that's come up clutch for the Phillies of late. 

Pache hit a shot over Evan Carter's head as the ball bounced off the 374-foot sign in left-center field. The Phillies center fielder was already past second base when the ball finally was picked up by Leody Taveras. Pache had a stand-up triple as Sosa and Merrifield both scored to put the Phillies up 3-1. 

"He's just staying on the ball, you know," Phillies manager Rob Thomson said of Pache. "He hits lefties really well. I'm sure he's gonna play tomorrow. He's a really good player." 

Kyle Schwarber followed with a single to score Pache to cap the three-run fourth inning to give the Phillies a 4-1 cushion. That's all they needed to complete the sweep, but Nick Castellanos added an insurance run with a solo home run in the seventh to extend the lead to 5-2. 

Sosa had three of the Phillies' 12 hits on the afternoon. This was less than 24 hours after hitting a three-run home run in the fourth inning on Wednesday night that broke the game open in an 11-4 victory. Sosa also had a catch on the run in the first inning Thursday where he barely turned his head in shallow left field to make the play, showcasing his value in all areas of the game. 

The Phillies shortstop is hitting .323 with a .965 OPS this season (both career highs). He's hit .341 (14-for-41) with a home run, three doubles, two triples and nine RBIs since May 4 -- the day Turner was placed on the IL. 

Sosa's slugging percentage is .585 and his OPS is 1.034 while filling in for Turner. 

"He's really playing well," Thomson said. "I think that's a function of getting more consistent at-bats, getting reps. You saw it last night with the home run to right field and he's really playing well defensively. He's a good player." 

Thanks to players like Sosa, the Phillies have the best record in baseball at 37-14. They are 13-3 since Turner has been out and are on a 29-6 stretch for the first time since 1892. 

The Phillies lead all of baseball in runs per game (5.43). Sosa has just been doing his part in helping the team make history day by day. 

"It's a product of putting in the work every day," Sosa said. "I'm always showing up with a positive attitude. The most important thing is that I help the team win. 

"I feel good every day here. To be able to do my job and get wins and help our club get wins and get to the playoffs, that's the most important thing for me." 

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