Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
Trea Turner
Trea Turner launched two towering home runs as the major league-leading Philadelphia Phillies edged the struggling Chicago Cubs 6-4 on Tuesday night.

Despite the absence of injured sluggers Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber, the Phillies found the necessary power in Turner and a stellar outing from Michael Mercado (1-0) in his first major league start.

However, the ninth inning brought some tension.

The Cubs have now dropped seven of their last nine games.

Turner is making a final push to start at shortstop for the National League in this month’s All-Star Game. He is tied with injured Dodgers shortstop Mookie Betts in MLB’s Phase 2 election to determine All-Star starters. Fans can vote until noon ET on Wednesday.

If Turner edges Betts, he will join Harper, who has already been elected a starter as the leading NL vote-getter. Turner is also likely to join third baseman Alec Bohm, who holds a significant lead over Padres third baseman Manny Machado in Phase 2 voting. 

Reliver José Ruiz entered the game to start the ninth but failed to record an out, allowing singles to Michael Busch and Cody Bellinger, followed by a three-run homer from Seiya Suzuki. Jeff Hoffman then struck out Ian Happ and Christopher Morel before retiring Dansby Swanson on a line drive to right, securing his seventh save.

Mercado delivered a strong performance, allowing only two hits over five innings to earn his first career win.

Garrett Stubbs put the Phillies ahead 2-0 with a two-run double in the second inning, setting the stage for Turner. Turner crushed the first pitch of the third inning to the 10th row of the left-center bleachers. He then extended the lead to 5-1 with a towering two-run shot in the fifth off Hayden Wesneski (2-5), marking his 15th career multi-homer game. The two-time All-Star added an RBI single in the seventh.

In his second career appearance and first MLB start, Mercado permitted one run. The 25-year-old right-hander struck out four and walked two.

Mercado faced some early challenges, walking a batter and allowing a single to Suzuki in the first. Right fielder Nick Castellanos made a spectacular backhanded catch while crashing into the ivy, robbing Bellinger of an extra-base hit and helping Mercado escape the jam. The only other hit Mercado surrendered was Bellinger's RBI double in the third.

Philadelphia’s bullpen shined as Gregory Soto, Orion Kerkering, and Yunior Marte each pitched perfect innings before Ruiz encountered trouble in the ninth.

The Phillies will send RHP Zack Wheeler (9-4, 2.73 ERA) to the mound on Wednesday, while the Cubs will counter with LHP Shota Imanaga (7-2, 3.07 ERA). Wheeler has rebounded with strong starts against Arizona and Miami after a rough outing against Baltimore. Imanaga also bounced back, pitching six solid innings in Chicago's win over San Francisco on Thursday.

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis