Padres host Phillies, hope to rebound from rough stretch
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres open a seven-game homestand after prying open their wallet for manager Andy Green.
Green directs the Padres against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night, with San Diego fresh from a 3-7 road trip. The Padres lost series at Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Dodger Stadium.
However, the Padres have seen enough in their young manager and he will be in charge until 2021. He received a contract extension Sunday.
“He is one of the most intelligent minds in the game,” Padres outfielder Wil Myers told MLB.com. “Just his knowledge of the game is very impressive, so to be able to continue to play for a guy like that is very exciting.”
Both the Padres and the Phillies are making that demanding trek through rebuilding with the hopes of better days ahead.
The Phillies just dropped three of four to the Mets, capped by a 6-2 loss Sunday.
The Padres turn to Travis Wood against the Phillies as he tries to find his San Diego legs. Wood came over to the Padres from the Kansas City Royals in a late-July trade, but after three starts, he is 1-1 with a 6.19 ERA.
When losing his last time out against the Reds on Wednesday, he allowed six runs (five earned) and seven hits in five innings. The seven strikeouts were keen; not so the four walks.
It was the free passes, and two home runs, that did in Wood.
“One led to the other,” Wood said after that game. “Both are frustrating. The homers, the hitter’s doing his job. The walks mean I didn’t execute.”
Wood has split two career decisions against the Phillies. Including his 25 relief appearances and three starts for the Royals this year, Wood is 2-4 with a 6.71 ERA overall.
Jerad Eickhoff, who is 3-0 lifetime against the Padres, gets the nod for the Phillies on Monday. He has allowed no more than three earned runs in his each of his past four starts, a first in his career. Eickhoff pitched to a 3.04 ERA over 23 2/3 innings during that span.
He is coming off one of his best outings of the year, when he threw a season-high 6 2/3 innings and surrendered two runs on nine hits against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. He had no walks and six strikeouts while winning his third straight decision.
Among the Padres hitters Eickhoff must tame is Cory Spangenberg. A batter once known for spraying the ball around the field with line drives is flexing his muscles. Spangenberg is coming off a two-homer day in the Padres’ 6-4 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday, giving him a career-high 10 on the season.
“He takes an aggressive pass,” Green said. “Guys that take aggressive passes and square balls up consistent, eventually the power starts to come.”
The Phillies will likely continue to test drive their new cleanup hitter, top prospect Rhys Hoskins. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound rookie left fielder/first baseman got his first RBI and first hit in the Sunday loss to the Mets. He checked off those milestones in his fourth game after a slow start.
“I think he started to press a little bit, and he was anxious to get that hit,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “So I think the monkey is off his back now.”