Phillies designate Michael Saunders, Jeanmar Gomez

Philadelphia designated Michael Saunders and Jeanmar Gomez
The Philadelphia Phillies designated Michael Saunders and Jeanmar Gomez for assignment on Tuesday and added relief pitcher Hoby Milner and outfielder Cameron Perkins to the 25-man roster.

Saunders, an All-Star last year, has hit .205/.257/.360 (57 wRC+) over the last calendar year. Gomez opened the season as the Phillies' closer even after his fade last season, but he lasted about a week in the job and ultimately posted a 7.25 ERA over 18 appearances.

The Phillies welcome the Cardinals to Citizens Bank Park tonight to open a three-game series. The Phillies have scored just 21 runs in their last seven games and have dropped 11 of their last 12.

Jeremy Hellickson is on the hill tonight for the Phillies, aiming to turn things around having gone 0-4 with a 7.57 ERA in his last five starts. In his last start, he gave up nine hits and six runs in a loss to Boston.

"The last month and a half has been pretty frustrating," Hellickson said last week. "Sprinkled a couple good (starts) in there, but I just pride myself on being consistent and giving us a chance to win every night, and I haven't done that too often the last seven or eight starts."

In a start against the Cardinals earlier this season, Hellickson gave up 10 hits and three runs in six innings and picked up the loss. In four career starts against St. Louis, Hellickson is 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA.

The Cardinals counter with right-hander Mike Leake, who in his last time out was roughed up for nine hits and six runs (all earned) in five innings against the Brewers.

"Pitching has been carrying us all year and the offense has been struggling," left fielder Tommy Pham told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after the Cardinals lost 8-5 to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. "Right now, we're hitting the ball better, but we're just not on the same page."

Since sweeping the Phillies at Busch Stadium earlier this month, the Cardinals have lost five of seven and sit six games below .500.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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