Giants on roll, Phillies stumbling

The San Francisco Giants will try to continue their dominance against the National League East this week in Philadelphia.

The Giants are 5-1 against the division this season and are fresh off a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves. San Francisco opens a four-game set against the Phillies on Monday night.

The Giants enter the series on a four-game winning streak and have won seven of their last eight to raise their record to 19-15. San Francisco, which took two of three fromt the Washington Nationals last month, outscored the Braves 24-9 during three games in Atlanta.

“They’re seeing the ball well right now,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told MLB.com. “It’s a good thing, and we’ve had our tough go with the offense. I just kept saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to come out of this.’ It’s good to have a lot of guys swinging the bats well.”

Jeff Samardzija will be on the mound for the Giants in the series opener at Citizens Bank Park. The stadium has not been kind to the right-hander in the past.

Samardzija has a 15.43 ERA in four career appearances (one start) at Citizens Bank Park, allowing 12 hits and 12 runs in seven innings. Samardzija has an 8.18 ERA against the Phillies in 11 career appearances.

Monday will be the fourth start of the season for Samardzija, who started the season on the disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle. He had a no-decision in his last start, allowing two runs and five hits with five strikeouts and three walks against the San Diego Padres last Monday.

Samardzija will be facing a Philadelphia team that has lost four consecutive series. The Phillies missed a chance to win a series against the Nationals and move into a tie for first place in the NL East on Sunday as they coughed up a three-run lead during the last two innings in Washington.

Zach Eflin will be on the mound Monday for the Phillies in his second start of 2018. A 24-year-old right-hander, Eflin was called up when Ben Lively hit the disabled list with a lower back strain.

Eflin had success in his first start. He carried a perfect game through five innings against the Miami Marlins last Tuesday and allowed just one run and three hits in six innings. The Phillies failed to support Eflin in a 2-1 loss that went 10 innings.

“Obviously a difficult situation to come into. He did a tremendous job for us,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters about Eflin. “Attacked the strike zone, threw the ball hard. The ball was coming out really good, attacking with all of his pitches, landing them for strikes. He did a good job keeping the opposing hitters off-balance all night.”

Eflin made 22 major league starts before this season. Three of those games were against the Giants. Eflin is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.438 WHIP in those starts.

The Phillies and Giants are meeting for the first time this year. Philadelphia went 4-3 against San Francisco in 2017 and won two of three games at Citizens Bank Park.