Padres-Phillies Preview

BY foxsports • April 14, 2016

Jerad Eickhoff overcame some early struggles last week to finish with an encouraging season debut, considering it was his third start since breaking the thumb on his pitching hand.

The Philadelphia Phillies right-hander will try to keep the positivity going while providing his team with at least another solid performance from a member of its rotation Wednesday night against the San Diego Padres.

Eickhoff (0-1, 3.60 ERA) needed 50 pitches to make it through the first two innings of a 7-2 road loss to the New York Mets on Friday. He finished with a respectable three runs allowed - two earned - in five-plus innings.

Eickhoff was limited to two spring training starts after getting injured before camp opened.

"I threw a bullpen (session earlier this week) in Cincinnati. There were some pitches there where it was like, 'OK, that's it, that's where I need to be.' I think I threw some out there today. It's just I couldn't find it more than I'd like to, so it was kind of frustrating," he told MLB's official website. "But I'm happy to get through it and be healthy on the backside."

Eickhoff's performance is part of a 2.87 ERA for the Phillies' rotation and Charlie Morton went 6 2-3 innings in a 3-0 win over the Padres on Tuesday. Jeanmar Gomez registered his third save in as many chances, bringing stability to a bullpen that had a 12.66 ERA during the team's 0-4 start.

Those efforts also helped Philadelphia (3-5) bounce back from a 4-3 loss in Monday's opener to the four-game series against San Diego.

"I'm really excited for the organization as a whole," Morton said. "I think the future is bright for the Phillies, but also for this team this year."

The Padres (3-5) were shut out for the fourth time and 29 of their 36 runs came in back-to-back wins in Colorado last weekend.

"A loss is a loss. Shutouts aren't fun when you're on the wrong side of them. We've got to take advantage of the opportunities that we have on the field, and we didn't do that offensively," manager Andy Green said. "We can do better."

Colin Rea didn't pitch long enough to benefit from the Padres' bevy of runs in a 13-6 win against the Rockies on Friday, throwing 90 pitches in 3 1-3 innings and allowing five runs.

Rea (0-0, 12.46) was a 4-3 loser in his only matchup against Philadelphia and his fourth MLB start Aug. 29, giving up four runs in five-plus innings.

San Diego's Jon Jay has a hit in each of his first eight games with his new team, going 10 for 33 with three doubles and five RBIs. The longest hit streak by a Padres player to open his tenure with the team is 10, shared by Justin Upton, Tony Fernandez, Wally Joyner and Keith Moreland.



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