By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor
Opposing St. Louis Cardinals (26-28) southpaw Genesis Cabrera in his MLB debut, the Philadelphia Phillies (33-22) offense came alive as the club produced a 11-4 rout Wednesday evening at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies now lead the NL East by 3 1/2 games, and are now 20-10 at home — matching their best 30-game start all-time at the venue (2011). The club has now won nine of their last 12 games and 20 of their last 31.
Andrew McCutchen (2), Bryce Harper (4), Cesar Hernandez (2) and Scott Kingery (2) each produced multiple RBI; Harper finished a triple shy of the cycle, including doubling for the 200th time of his career and slugging his 10th home run in a Phillies uniform.
The Phillies matched their season high by slugging four home runs, including three in the fifth; Kingery and Maikel Franco went yard back-to-back, setting up McCutchen's two-run blast to give the club a 10-run lead. It was the second time this season that the Phillies hit back-to-back blasts, and the first time in two seasons they hit three home runs in an inning.
Phillies right-handed ace Aaron Nola improved to 6-0; in seven innings, he allowed just one run (Matt Wieters solo home run) on four hits, three walks and eight strikeouts. Nola tossed 102 pitches, 68 strikes, and induced 14 swinging strikes. Phillies rookie RHP J.D. Hammer made his second career appearance in the ninth, another 1-2-3 outing to secure the win and his first career game finished. He struck out two batters.
The Phillies victory improved them to a season-high 11 games over .500, as well as bested their series record to 11-4-3; the club is also now 22-5 this season when they score first.