More Sports:

June 29, 2016

Asche, Bourjos lead Phillies to series sweep in Arizona

The Phillies have been looking for production from their corner outfielders for nearly the entirely of the first three months of the 2016 season. As their nine-game road trip through Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Phoenix came to an end on Wednesday afternoon at Chase Field, manager Pete Mackanin may have found a combo that will work for a little while.

Peter Bourjos hit a two-run home in the first inning and went 2-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored and Cody Asche went 3-for-5 with three RBI, raising his batting average to .289 on the season. Both collected hits in the Phillies 10th inning rally that led the team to a 9-8 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, completing a three-game sweep.

The series sweep was payback of a bit for the four-game sweep the Phils suffered at Citizens Bank Park to the Diamondbacks less than two weeks ago. The Phillies scored a total of five runs in that four-game series against Arizona in South Philly.

In the last three days, the Phils offense scored 21 runs against Arizona pitching to put an exclamation point on their first series win in six weeks and finish their road trip with a winning record (5-4), too. The Phillies had a team-high 17 hits on Wednesday.

Asche, who missed the first two months (and all of spring training) recovering from an oblique injury, bounced back from an 0-for-3, three-strikeout night on Tuesday with a three-hit game on Wednesday. 

Asche is hitting .354 (17-for-48) in his last 14 games with a home run, nine doubles, and eight RBI. Only three major league players (Brandon Belt, Nolan Arenado, and Jonathan Schoop) have hit more doubles than Asche in June.

Bourjos, meanwhile, enjoyed his fifth multi-hit game of the Phillies nine-game trip. After hitting .199 with a .522 OPS in 48 games in April and May, Bourjos is hitting .410 (25-for-61) in June.

In his last nine games, Bourjos is hitting .472 (17-for-36) with two home runs, a double, a triple, and four walks in 40 plate appearances.

  •   Zach Eflin has bounced back nicely after a nightmarish major league debut in Toronto two weeks ago. Eflin held Arizona to three earned runs in six innings, striking out three and walking none, to keep the Phillies within striking distance at Chase Field on Wednesday afternoon

Eflin pitched back-to-back quality starts in San Francisco and Arizona and has a 2.55 ERA in his last three starts. Eflin allowed eight earned runs (including three home runs) in 2 2/3 innings in his major league debut against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 14.

Eflin also doubled on Wednesday to collect his first major-league hit.

•  Maikel Franco was hitless in four at-bats on Wednesday afternoon, a day removed from hitting a home run and a double to help the Phillies take their first series win in more than a month. But Franco’s plate discipline has been an issue throughout the year and it came to a head in his final at-bat in Phoenix late Tuesday night.

With the Phils and D-Backs tied, the bases loaded and Franco facing a full count with one out, Franco swung and missed at a pitch 19 inches outside of the strike zone. As Fangraphs broke it down today, Franco’s swing may have been the worst three-ball swing with the bases loaded by a right-handed batter in baseball over the last nine seasons.

•  Mickey Moniak made his professional debut on Wednesday afternoon in Tampa for the Gulf Coast League Phillies.

The 18-year-old Moniak, selected by the Phillies with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, went 1-for-4 with a walk, an RBI single, and a run scored. Moniak agreed to a contract with the Phillies last week (for a $6.1 million signing bonus) and was introduced at Citizens Bank Park a day later.

Meanwhile, another former No. 1 overall pick, Phillies pitching prospect Mark Appel, saw his 2016 officially come to an end when he underwent elbow surgery on Wednesday.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @ryanlawrence21