Phillies win again
This isn't just a good start; it's now historic. 

The Phillies dispatched the Rangers with ease again on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park, winning 11-4. The victory improved their record to 36-14, placing the club in rarified air. 

For the first time in franchise history, dating back to 1883, the Phillies have won 36 of their first 50 games. Remarkably, the 2024 Phillies are the first team since the 2001 Mariners to achieve this feat. That 2001 Mariners club, led by Hall of Famers Ichiro Suzuki and Edgar Martinez, won 116 games, tying the 1906 Cubs for the most wins in a regular season. 

"Yeah, but what did they do in the end?" Phillies manager Rob Thomson remarked, referencing the Mariners' postseason performance. The 2001 Mariners were handily defeated by the Yankees in the ALCS, four games to one. 

"That's why we have to keep grinding and pushing, all the way through," Thomson emphasized. 

The Rangers jumped to a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but the Phillies responded with six runs over the next three frames and then hung a four-spot in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

J.T. Realmuto finished 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs, his solo shot in the third inning marking the 14,000th home run in franchise history. Edmundo Sosa chipped in with a three-run blast in the fourth, Alec Bohm drove in a pair of runs, and Brandon Marsh collected two hits. 

Taijuan Walker labored through 4 2/3 innings, surrendering three runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out five. 

"Little frustrating," Walker said of his outing. "Obviously, my goal is to go five or six innings every time out, and I feel like I didn't do my job tonight. Four walks isn't going to cut it." 

Matt Strahm earned the win, tossing 1 1/3 innings. He relieved Walker in the fifth and left two inherited runners on base. 

Strahm has now not allowed a run in 20 consecutive appearances and is carrying a 0.87 ERA. 

"He's been a godsend," Thomson said. "He comes in for multiple situations—can throw three innings or two innings when you need it. High leverage, and he's performed at a really high rate. He's been really, really good."

Bohm collected his 20th double of the year, becoming just the fifth player in franchise history to hit 20 or more doubles in their first 49 games of a season and the first since Chase Utley had 22 in 2014. 

Nick Castellanos scored three times in the win after reaching base twice via a walk.

"I think if you can limit the damage and the runs early, keep it to two or three runs, at any moment our team is going to break out and score six-plus runs," Walker said. "That's been the case lately, I feel like we get a couple runs early, but then by the fifth or sixth inning you look up and it's 8-3. As a starting pitcher, that's nice." 

The two clubs conclude their three-game set on Thursday with a matinee. Zack Wheeler will be on the bump for the Phillies, while the Rangers counter with Andrew Heaney.  

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