Preview: Trevor Richards aims to help Marlins bounce back against Phillies

TV: FOX Sports Florida

TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.


Miami Marlins rookie starter Trevor Richards has been silencing opposing hitters dating back to a July 14 outing against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Richards will try to stay on a roll and beat the Phillies again Friday night in the second contest of a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park. Right-hander Vince Velasquez will start for the Phillies (60-48), who enter the weekend a half-game ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

Richards (3-5, 4.06 ERA) has allowed one run and 10 hits over his last three starts (18 2/3 innings). The 25-year-old tossed six shutout innings against the Phillies last month.

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He had a similar outing in his last start, going six innings against the Washington Nationals while surrendering no runs and three hits Saturday. Richards also notched eight strikeouts in a no-decision.

“It’s just been going after hitters a little bit more than we were at the beginning,” Richards told after the game. “Being able to attack. My fastball command has been better. It starts from that and being able to hit spots and then mix speeds off of that.”

Richards also faced the Phillies in his second major league start on April 8, giving up three runs in four innings. The Marlins won both Richards’ starts facing Philadelphia, and the team is 5-5 against the Phillies this season.

However, the Phillies came back to win Thursday’s series opener, 5-2, thanks to a three-run walk-off homer from third baseman Maikel Franco. The homer was Franco’s 18th of the season, and it capped a four-run rally for the Phillies in the ninth inning.

“We play it all, we fight it all,” Franco told NBC Sports Philadelphia after the win. “We know it’s going to be tough. …We’ll keep fighting.”

The Phillies are 35-18 at Citizens Bank Park this season, and they’re at the 60-win mark– a threshold they did not hit until Sept. 19 last season.

Velasquez (7-8, 4.02), who will try to get the Phillies their 61st win of 2018, has also been pitching at a high level recently. He gave up 10 runs to the Brewers on June 8, but since that outing Velasquez has a 2.48 ERA and is holding opposing hitters to a .163 average.

Velasquez gave up two runs against the Cincinnati Reds in his last start, but struggled with his command. He walked a season-high five batters and also surrendered six hits over five innings.

Velasquez is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in seven career starts against Miami.

Philadelphia left fielder Rhys Hoskins stayed hot by hitting a solo homer Thursday. Hoskins has 22 homers on the season and eight in his last 12 games. Hoskins has raised his OPS from .819 to .900 in 13 games since the All-Star break.

Justin Bour, meanwhile, hit a two-run homer for the Marlins’ only runs in the series opener. It was Bour’s 17th homer of the season and snapped an 0-for-16 slump.