The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks by a 7-5 final (box score) on Friday night, evening their record to 29-29 and extending their winning streak to eight games in a row, including seven since firing manager Joe Girardi. (Girardi’s former bench coach, Rob Thomson, has and will continue to serve as the club’s interim skipper.)
The Phillies jumped out to an early lead on Friday, scoring a run in the first inning before piling on five in the second. The Diamondbacks rallied late, plating five runs of their own over the course of the sixth and seventh innings, but in the end the Phillies were able to fend off their comeback attempt.
Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins served as the most important players for the Phillies on the night. They combined to homer three times (Hoskins twice) and drive in five runs (Schwarber was responsible for three of those). Starting pitcher Kyle Gibson, meanwhile, recorded a quality start, holding the Diamondbacks to three runs over six innings.
Designated hitter Bryce Harper, who hasn’t played the outfield since April 16 because of a right elbow injury, notched three hits as well. Each was a single.
The Phillies were 22-29 on the season under Girardi’s watch. They’ll enter Saturday with a .500 or better record for the first time since May 14, when they were 17-17. Thomson is the first manager to win his first seven games with a team since Felipe Alou in 2003 (Alou also won seven with the San Francisco Giants), according to the Phillies’ communication department. He’s also the first manager since Joe M. Morgan to have won his first seven career games as a manager. (Morgan, for his part, won 12 with the Boston Red Sox.)
Despite their recent hot play, the Phillies haven’t gained as much as they may have liked in the National League East. That’s because the Atlanta Braves have an ongoing nine-game winning streak after Friday night’s win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.