Saturday, June 24, 2017

Phillies look to take another in Arizona behind rookie Lively

Philadelphia looks to win three straight behind Ben Lively
Ben Lively looks to make history tonight for the Phillies, aiming to become the first starter in franchise history since 1943 to open his career with the club while making five consecutive quality starts.

"I'm feeling really good out there right now," Lively said following his last start, a six inning effort against the very Diamondbacks he'll face tonight. "Command of my pitches has been there and it seems things are really clicking; it been a smooth transition for me."

The Phillies won the series opener last night, 6-1, behind a strong outing from Mark Leiter Jr. who allowed just three hits and a walk, while striking out five in his first career major league start.

"It's something I'll never forget," Leiter said. "I'll be honest with you: I think I was probably more excited for this than I was for my Major League debut. I've started a lot more than I've been in the bullpen, so it's something I'm more comfortable with. To go out there and contribute to a win is what I was hoping to do."

The Phillies are looking to win three straight for the first time since late April when the club stringed together a five-game winning streak, their longest of the season.

The Diamondbacks look to starter Robbie Ray on Saturday. The lefty allowed eight hits, four runs and four walks in just 5 1/3 innings Sunday in a 5-4, 10-inning D-backs victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. He struck out seven.

Phillies Lineup
1. Cameron Perkins, LF
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Aaron Altherr, RF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Maikel Franco, 3B
6. Andres Blanco, 2B
7. Odubel Herrera, CF
8. Cameron Rupp, C
9. Ben Lively, P

Kendrick's Hamstring
Howie Kendrick is again out of the Phillies lineup, nursing a tight left hamstring. He did pinch-hit last night, lacing a ground-rule double in the ninth. He is hitting .355 with eight doubles, one triple, two home runs and 12 RBIs.

Eickhoff Update
Manager Pete Macknain  said hurler Jerad Eickhoff is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday before being evaluated for a possible rehab assignment. Jerad Eickhoff was placed on the 10-day DL Tuesday with an upper back strain. He is 0-7 with a 4.81 ERA this season and is the only pitcher in the majors with double-digit starts and no victories.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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