By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Zack Wheeler carved up the Atlanta Braves lineup in his first start as a Phillie in front of Philadelphia fans, but it wasn’t his right arm that had fans talking. It was his bat.

Wheeler made his 2021 debut on Saturday afternoon, and while he mowed down Brave and after Brave on the mound, the righty throwing and lefty-hitting pitcher also helped himself at the plate.

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Yes, pitchers are hitting again in 2021. And yes, that is music to Wheeler’s ears.

Wheeler broke up a pitcher’s duel in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-out RBI single to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. Rhys Hoskins followed that up with a two-run double two batters later, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead.

An inning later, however, Wheeler said to himself, “Anything I can do, I can do better.”

With two men on and two outs again in the bottom of the sixth inning, Wheeler laced an RBI double down the left-field line to give himself a 4-0 lead. Saturday is Wheeler’s fifth career multi-hit game.

Wheeler also became the first Phillies pitcher with multiple hits and multiple RBIs since Ben Lively did it in September 2017.

It was also a fine outing on the mound for Wheeler, who finished his first start of the season with 10 strikeouts in seven, one-hit scoreless innings. He left his start Saturday with a 4-0 lead.

Wheeler’s 2021 debut had Phillies fans talking.

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Wheeler’s final stat line on Saturday looks like this: Seven innings pitched, one hit allowed, 10 strikeouts on 90 pitches; 2 for 3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.

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Pretty, pretty, pretty good.