Preview: Marlins open series vs. Phillies with doubleheader
TV: FOX Sports Florida
TIME: Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET
PHILADELPHIA — After starting their most recent road trip with a string of losses, the Philadelphia Phillies turned their fortunes around in recent days thanks to a new face in the lineup.
After struggling in his debut series against the New York Mets earlier this month, Phillies rookie Rhys Hoskins was one of the hottest sluggers in all of baseball during Philadelphia’s seven-game West Coast road trip.
He hopes to keep rolling as the Phillies and Miami Marlins play a doubleheader on Tuesday, with one of the games making up an April 25 rainout between the clubs. The twin-bill kicks off a four-game series.
Hoskins went 1-for-13 with no homers and one RBI against the Mets in his lone series at Citizens Bank Park. He hit his first five career homers and drove in eight runs on Philadelphia’s road trip that began with five losses and ended with two wins.
The Phillies have lacked the long ball for the majority of the season, but the addition of Hoskins to their lineup has led to runs in bunches. He homered Saturday and Sunday against the San Francisco Giants, leading Philadelphia to 12-9 and 5-2 victories.
Phillies starter Aaron Nola (9-8, 3.26 ERA) is surely looking toward some extra pop from his offense. He will square off against Marlins starter Dan Straily (7-8, 3.80 ERA) in Game 1 of the doubleheader.
Nola has been stellar this season for Philadelphia, striking out 128 batters in 124 1/3 innings.
After allowing two or fewer earned runs in 10 consecutive starts from June 22 through Aug. 12, Nola didn’t fare well Thursday in his most recent start at San Francisco. The Giants tagged Nola for five runs on seven hits in five innings.
Nola has made four career starts against Miami and is 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA.
Like Nola, Straily will looks to get back on track on Tuesday afternoon. After a solid June and early July, Straily has struggled lately, failing to make it out of the sixth inning in each of his past three starts. He is winless in his past seven outings.
Preserving the bullpen in a doubleheader is imperative, so Straily’s pitch count and effectiveness will be key factors in the early game. Straily has three career starts against the Phillies and is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA.
In Game 2, the Marlins’ Jose Urena (11-5, 3.61 ERA) takes on Phillies starter Nick Pivetta (4-8, 6.25 ERA). Urena has pitched seven times against the Phillies, including three starts, going 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA. Pivetta has not faced the Marlins in his career.
Urena is 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA in August and is coming into Tuesday on the heels of throwing five innings and allowing one run, which was unearned, against the Giants. Like Straily, Urena hasn’t pitched deep into many games for the Marlins this season, so the bullpen could see plenty of work on Tuesday.
Pivetta has struggled mightily to this point in his second season with Philadelphia.
Outside of his July 2 start, when he pitched seven innings of one-run ball against the New York Mets, Pivetta has struggled to get outs when he needs them. He has given up 19 home runs in 18 starts this season, and his ERA is the worst among Phillies pitchers with at least 10 starts this season.
Facing Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton likely isn’t a cure to Pivetta’s inconsistencies. Stanton has three home runs in his past seven games and is slugging .850 over the span. He has five home runs in seven games against the Phillies this season.