Who will WIN this matchup?
Philadelphia Phillies (39-31)
@ Atlanta Braves (41-30)
Velasquez (PHI): 2-3; 4.08 ERA
Foltynewicz (ATL) 1-5; 6.02 ERA
Last 10 Games Played:
Philadelphia Phillies: 6-4
Atlanta Braves: 8-2
Philadelphia Phillies: (+152)
Atlanta Braves: (-162)
• Cesar Hernandez struggled in the leadoff spot following a season-ending injury to Andrew McCutchen, but the Philadelphia Phillies second baseman delivered from the eighth spot to pull his team within 1 ½ games of first place entering Sunday’s series finale at the Atlanta Braves. Hernandez finished 2-for-4 with a two-run, ninth-inning single in Saturday’s 6-5 victory, ending Atlanta’s eight-game winning streak and giving the Phillies just their sixth victory in their past 15 contests. Hernandez, who was moved from first to eighth in the lineup Friday, had just one hit in his past 22 at-bats before Saturday while Philadelphia got plenty of help from outfielder Scott Kingery, who has recorded back-to-back three-hit games in the series and is batting 10-for-18 with four homers and eight RBIs in his past five contests.
• The Braves bullpen once again struggled as closer Luke Jackson gave up the Hernandez hit, marking the fifth time in his past six appearances the right-hander has allowed at least one run as Atlanta blew a save for the 13th time in 2019. Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson remains hot since being ejected from Monday’s contest against Pittsburgh, finishing a triple shy of the cycle Saturday while belting his 11th homer of the season as he is 7-for-23 with three homers and six RBIs in his past five games. Rookie left fielder Austin Riley hit his 11th homer and drove home his 31st run in his 29th major-league game, giving him hits in four of his past five contests.
• The Phillies are undecided on who will begin the series finale, but it’s likely left-hander Cole Irvin will be called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to appear at some point in the contest. The 25-year-old is 2-1 with a 5.48 ERA in four major-league games (three starts), allowing seven runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings in his last start May 22 at the Chicago Cubs, and surrendering two runs in 3 2/3 innings of relief June 1 at the Los Angeles Dodgers. Irwin, who is 2-0 in eight starts with a 2.44 ERA at Triple-A, gave up three runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings on June 9 against Buffalo.
• Foltynewicz continues to search for a groove entering his 10th start of the season, giving up 15 homers across 49 1/3 innings while allowing four runs or more six times. The 27-year-old received a no-decision Tuesday against Pittsburgh, and while he didn’t give up a homer he did match a season-high with four walks in five innings – allowing four runs on five hits. Foltynewicz, who had surrendered three runs or fewer in three of his previous four starts, did not face the Phillies in the season’s opening series as he was sidelined with an elbow injury.
• Philadelphia lost two starters to injury Saturday as OF Jay Bruce exited after three innings with left hamstring tightness and C J.T. Realmuto was hit in the groin with a foul ball and left after the fifth.
• Atlanta RF Nick Markakis is 0-for-7 with three strikeouts in the series, and in his past 25 games is hitting .209 with 14 strikeouts.
• The Phillies lead the season series 4-1 and have averaged 7.4 runs per game with 12 homers.
Top Pick Record for Month: 11-6