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Wheeler strikes out 6, Phillies top Nationals 4-2 for MLB-best 32nd victory

Philly Phlash turns 30, PHL expects busy Memorial Day Weekend and more top stories | Digital Brief
Philly Phlash turns 30, PHL expects busy Memorial Day Weekend and more top stories | Digital Brief 02:24

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Zack Wheeler struck out six over 7 1/3 innings and the Philadelphia Phillies continued their scorching start with a 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

The Phillies needed just 2 hours, 15 minutes in front of another jam-packed crowd of 44,507 to improve to 32-14, the best record in baseball.

Wheeler (5-3) received a rousing standing ovation when he was lifted with one out in the eighth inning. He allowed two runs and threw 104 pitches to win his fifth straight decision. Wheeler improbably went 0-3 over his first four starts — and the Phillies lost all four games — before he resumed his spot as one of the best pitchers in baseball.

The right-hander has been outshined at times this season by lefty Ranger Suárez and his 8-0 record, but there's still no other pitcher the Phillies want on the bump for a big game.

Wheeler had his seventh quality start of the season and his 71st with the Phillies. He is tied with Yankees ace Gerrit Cole for the most quality starts in the major leagues since 2020. Wheeler has a 1.62 ERA with 525 strikeouts in 477 2/3 innings over that span.

Jeff Hoffman worked the ninth for his third save.

On a gorgeous night for baseball, and with a stadium that sold out early in part because of a Bryson Stott bobblehead promotion, Wheeler and the Phillies were never in serious danger against the overmatched Nationals.

The homer-happy Phillies didn't even need to go deep in this one.

Alec Bohm and Brandon Marsh each had RBI doubles off Nationals starter Jake Irvin (2-4). Brandon Marsh scored on a wild pitch and Kyle Schwarber added an RBI groundout. That's a fairly nondescript way to win a game for a team that is usually thrilled on its way to winning six of its last eight games.

Irvin allowed four runs and five hits in five innings.

Keibert Ruiz and Eddie Rosario had RBI doubles for the Nationals.


Nationals first baseman/designated hitter Joey Gallo was activated from the 10-day injured list and fielder Trey Lipscomb was optioned to Triple-A Rochester.


The Nationals send LHP MacKenzie Gore (2-4, 3.38 ERA) to the mound against Phillies LHP Cristopher Sánchez (2-3, 3.43)

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