Reds-Phillies Preview

The Philadelphia Phillies‘ future was on display Monday when Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery both homered. Aaron Nola will show more of what the Phillies are building around Tuesday night.

The 24-year-old Nola will make his first 2018 start at Citizens Bank Park in the middle matchup of a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at 7:05 p.m. ET. Nola, who was one of baseball’s top pitchers in the second half of the 2017 season, is looking for his first win of the season.

Nola (0-0, 2.61 ERA) gave up two runs on four hits and four walks in a five-inning, 87-pitch outing against the New York Mets last Wednesday. Nola was pulled after 68 pitches after giving up just one run in 5 1/3 innings against the Atlanta Braves on opening day in Gabe Kapler’s managerial debut.

“I had to battle. Command wasn’t there, I had four walks. But it was a grind. I wanted to keep the team in it as long as possible,” Nola said to reporters after his last start. “I could’ve went a little more, but it was a good decision. I was creeping up pitch count.”

Nola has faced Cincinnati three previous times in his career. He is 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA, 0.900 WHIP and a 9.9 K/9 rate in those starts.

Reds veteran righty Homer Bailey will match up with Nola on Tuesday night. Bailey (0-2, 4.22 ERA) has started his 12th major league season with two losses in two starts. Bailey surrendered five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates last Thursday.

“I don’t think Homer was nearly as sharp (Thursday) as he was in the last game,” Reds manager Bryan Price told MLB.com after Bailey’s last start. “That wasn’t starting from the fifth inning as much as it was starting in the first. He made some good pitches down in the zone, I thought, the first time through the lineup. As he got in a little further in the game, it became apparent he didn’t have his best command.”

Bailey, 31, is 1-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 10 starts against the Phillies. Bailey has never faced Hoskins, the slugging second-year Phillies outfielder who is one of the hottest hitters in baseball.

Hoskins went 1-for-3 with his second home run of the season and a walk on Monday night. Hoskins is hitting .429 with a 1.374 OPS through nine games.

Kingery, meanwhile, has a .259 average in eight games, six of which have been starts. The 23-year-old utilityman hit his first career home run Monday night in the Phillies’ 6-5 win.

The Reds, who are 2-7 on the young season, have given up five runs or more in six of their first nine games, but they did see some promising signs from Joey Votto in recent games. Votto has had multi-hit games in three of his last four contests — including in Monday night’s series opener — raising his average from .158 to .257.