Ranger Suarez
PHILADELPHIA -- While every victory holds weight, the paramount importance placed on Ranger Suarez's health overshadowed the significance of the Phillies' Saturday 6-1 win against the Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park.
Suarez, an early Cy Young Award contender, was struck by a 106.1 mph line drive from Alec Burleson on his pitching hand. Despite the intense pain, he completed the play at first base before grimacing and walking off the field, his glove pressed against his mouth in discomfort. 

Manager Rob Thomson reported post-game that X-rays were negative and Suarez would undergo further evaluation before any decisions regarding his next start. 

"First of all, I feel good; you always have to be in a good mood," Suarez said through a translator. "The ball hit me near my thumb, but luckily it didn't seem to catch any bone, so everything is good on that end." 

In relief, Spencer Turnbull pitched three stellar innings without surrendering a hit and collected six strikeouts, the most he's had in a relief appearance in his career. He became the first Philadelphia reliever since Victor Arano (4/14/19) to record six strikeouts without allowing a hit, run, or walk.

Thomson used Jose Ruiz in the third inning as a bridge to give Turnbull more time to warm up. 

"It helped give me a few more minutes to throw more pitches in the bullpen, which allowed me to return to a bit more of my usual warm-up routine," Turnbull said. "I was able to throw 30 pitches instead of maybe 15. That gave me time to work on my breaking balls and mix in the sweeper and curveball."

Turnbull mentioned he told Thomson he could have pitched another inning, feeling good after throwing 49 pitches over the three frames. 

"In that situation, it felt more like being a starter early in the game," Turnbull said. "The hitters' approaches are more what I'm used to, unlike late in the game where approaches are a little different." 

The Phillies started strong against Cardinals starter Sonny Gray, scoring three runs in the first inning with Alec Bohm delivering a two-run double. Brandon Marsh added an RBI single in the third, and Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer in the seventh for insurance. 

The win secured the Phillies' 12th series victory this year. 

"No matter who we're facing or what we're doing, we're just going out there to do our job," Harper said. "Having our fans with us in this ballpark, there's nothing like it. We thrive on that, and it's a lot of fun coming in here and playing."

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