Zack Wheeler struck out a career high-tying 12 and the Philadelphia Phillies ended a four-game skid, beating the Boston Red Sox 6-2 on Sunday.
Odubel Herrera doubled twice and singled and Brad Miller hit a three-run homer as the Phillies averted a sweep and stopped Boston’s four-game winning string.
Wheeler (4-2) allowed only three hits in 7 1/3 innings, and retired 17 straight batters after a leadoff single. He matched the dozen strikeouts he had in 2013 for the New York Mets against San Diego.
Philadelphia scored four times in the first off Eduardo Rodríguez (5-3). Rhys Hoskins singled home Herrera with the first run and after Alec Bohm walked, Miller hit a drive just inside the left-field foul pole for his fourth homer of the year.
Rodríguez gave up five hits and walked three in four-plus innings. He threw 103 pitches before departing two hitters into the fifth inning.
The first-inning run support was all Wheeler needed. Facing a Boston lineup that didn’t feature Xander Bogaerts or J.D. Martinez — both given a day of rest by manager Alex Cora before an off-day on Monday.
Only Franchy Cordero’s long home run onto Ashburn Alley in deep right center to lead off the eighth blemished Wheeler’s outing. Rafael Devers hit a solo homer in the ninth off Archie Bradley.
Wheeler improved his overall ERA to 2.38 on the season. He has been masterful at notoriously hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park as well, going 3-0 in six starts with a 1.88 ERA, 52 strikeouts and just five walks in 53 innings.
Andrew McCutchen added a sacrifice fly and Herrera had an RBI double.
Herrera has made his case to fill Philadelphia’s center field void, hitting .355 with two homers and eight RBIs in 62 at-bats since May 3.
Red Sox: Alex Verdugo was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game because of a left hamstring strain suffered in Friday night’s win. He did come up in the ninth inning as a pinch-hitter for Marwin Gonzalez, grounding into a fielders choice. The Red Sox outfielder is expected to return on Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves.
Phillies: Bryce Harper was out of the Phillies starting lineup on Sunday as he continues to try to shake a 2-for-25 slump with 13 strikeouts in his last seven games with no hits in his last 16 at-bats. Harper has been bothered by a sore shoulder that was exacerbated last weekend against the Blue Jays.
Red Sox: After an off-day on Monday, the Red Sox will host the Braves to start a two-game set. Garrett Richards (4-2, 3.72 ERA) will get the start for Boston against Atlanta’s Charlie Morton (2-2, 4.60).
Phillies: Philadelphia hits the road for a nine-game road trip that will start in Miami on Monday. Zach Eflin (2-3, 3.77 ERA) will start for the Phils against Marlins LHP Trevor Rogers (6-2, 1.74)