SCHWARBS HAS 40 JACKS AND PHILS HAVE 5 1/2-GAME WC LEAD!

By Sam Bush

Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner and Edmundo Sosa homered for the Phillies, who beat the Padres 9-7 in their first visit to San Diego since the NL Championship Series.

Schwarber connected for his 40th of the season leading off the fifth inning against rookie Matt Waldron, watching the ball for just a moment to make sure it stayed fair before beginning his trot as the drive sailed several rows deep for a 9-4 lead.

Schwarber raised his right arm as his teammates celebrated in the dugout. This is his second straight 40-homer season. He led the NL with 46 last year.

“I’ve always been a guy who hit home runs,” Schwarber said.

“I got to 30 a couple times before and last year had a chance to have pretty much a healthy full season and got to go out there and play every day and was able to get to 40. It’s a cool accomplishment to be able to do it again this year. I think the more important thing is to keep helping the team win. We’re in a pretty good position but we’ve got to keep pushing to the very end.”

Schwarber hit a jaw-dropping, 488-foot homer into the second deck in right field in Game 1 of the NLCS last year, which the Phillies won 2-0. They won the series in five games and then took three of four from the Padres in Philadelphia right after the All-Star break.

“I don’t think many things will compare to postseason home runs,” Schwarber said.

The Phillies have homered in 17 straight games. Schwarber reached base five times, including three walks, and scored three times. Bryson Stott had four hits and Alec Bohm three, including a three-run double in the first.

Manager Rob Thomson said Schwarber’s consecutive 40-homer seasons are “really impressive, and then once you factor in all the walks he’s had in that leadoff spot to give us opportunities to score runs, it’s been really fun to watch for the last year and three-quarters.”

Philadelphia denied the Padres their first four-game winning streak this season. The wildly inconsistent Padres, who have badly underperformed despite having baseball’s third-highest payroll, remain the only team in the majors without a winning streak longer than three games.

The Phillies, who hold the NL’s top wild-card spot, have won seven of 10 games. The Padres, below .500 since May 12, have lost seven of 11. They came in six games out of the final playoff spot, with four teams ahead of them.

The Phillies had leads of 8-1 after three innings and 9-4 after Schwarber’s home run before San Diego closed to 9-7. One-time Padres closer Craig Kimbrel walked Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto with one out in the eighth before striking out Manny Machado and getting Xander Bogaerts to ground out. Tatis and Soto executed a double steal with Machado batting, and J.T. Realmuto’s throw to third hit umpire Brian O’Nora in the throat, perhaps saving at least one run.

Taijuan Walker (15-5) became the first Phillies pitcher to win at least 15 games since Aaron Nola won 17 in 2018. Walker allowed four runs and five hits, including a solo home run by Tatis into the second deck in left in the first inning, his 22nd.

José Alvarado pitched the ninth for his seventh save in nine chances. He walked the first two batters before retiring the side. Alvarado punched the air with his left arm after striking out Ha-Seong Kim to end it.

The Phillies loaded the bases with one out in the first against 43-year-old lefty Rich Hill, and Bohm cleared them with a double to left.

The Phillies piled on in the second, starting when Sosa hit a leadoff homer to left, his ninth. Schwarber singled and Turner, a one-time Padres farmhand, hit a two-run homer to left, his 22nd, for a 6-1 lead. Hill, who fell to 0-4 since being acquired from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline, allowed a double to Nick Castellanos and struck out Bryce Harper before getting the hook.

Hill (7-14) allowed six runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings, his shortest start with the Padres.

The Phillies had three straight hits opening the third against Waldron, including an RBI triple by Christian Pache and an RBI double by Sosa to make it 8-1.

Kim drove in three runs, including a two-run single in the three-run fourth and an RBI single in the sixth.

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