Phillies aim to avert history, vie for series win vs. Giants (Jun 04, 2017)

BY AP • June 3, 2017

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin, in a solemn mood after a 10-0 loss Friday night, said his team needed an offensive night like the one the San Francisco Giants recorded against his team.

The Phillies were sputtering, losers in 26 of 32, and after five-plus innings of watching Johnny Cueto stifle his club, he probably was feeling the same on Saturday.

But Philadelphia broke out late in a 5-3 win and tallied 11 hits on the day, putting its manager in a much better mood.

"The thing that makes this game kind of special is Cueto's a good pitcher," Mackanin said. "He's really tough. We got a lot of hits off him and swung the bats well. As I said yesterday, this is the kind of game that will kickstart us. All the guys swung the bat very well and we got to carry that over through (Sunday)."

His Phillies (18-35) look to avoid history against the Giants (23-34) when the teams finish their three-game series on Sunday. If the Phillies lose, they'll have lost 11 straight series for the first time since 1941.

Out to prevent that will be righty Jeremy Hellickson (5-3, 4.45 ERA), who will be opposed by Matt Moore (2-6, 4.98).

Moore has faced the Phillies twice in his career and is 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in 10 2/3 innings pitched. Both of those starts came at Citizens Bank Park.

Hellickson, who has given up 11 runs in 11 innings in his last two starts, has made four career starts against San Francisco. He's 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings against the Giants.

On Saturday, the Phillies scored five runs for the first time since May 19.

One of the reasons for their offensive struggles has been the slumps of third baseman Maikel Franco and outfielder Odubel Herrera.

Each had multi-hit games Saturday, with Herrera smacking a pair of doubles, including a three-run shot to pad the team's lead in a four-run seventh inning.

Franco had a double and a run scored.

"That's what these guys all need," Mackanin said. "They need to be able to breathe a little bit knowing they can still perform. It grates on you after a while. Both Maikel and Odubel really benefited, I think, from today."

The Giants, losers in eight of 11, might be getting some help Sunday in the form of former Phillie Hunter Pence (hamstring).

"He could come back tomorrow or Monday," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Saturday evening.

The San Francisco outfield is youthful in the corners. Next to Denard Span in center, Orlando Calixte (left field), 25, and newly called up Austin Slater (right field), 24, played Saturday.

The Giants, of course, are struggling. Slater's stay may depend on Pence and how other things work out. But a youth movement might be beginning in San Francisco.

"We want to take a look at the young guys and see what we have here," Bochy said.



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