Phillies aim to maintain dominance over divisional foe

Phillies set to open three-game set with Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park
The Philadelphia Phillies welcome the Atlanta Braves to Citizens Bank Park for a three-game set beginning Monday night as rookie Rhys Hoskins looks to continue his torrid pace of hitting home runs.

The 24-year-old rookie on Sunday became the fastest player to 11 career home runs in major league history, reaching the mark in his 18th game.

Along with Hoskins, Monday's starter Aaron Nola is another vital piece to a potentially improved Phillies' future. The 24-year-old has struggled in his past two outings on the heels of a streak of 10 consecutive starts in which he allowed two runs or fewer. He was hit around for seven runs on nine hits — including two homers — in 6 1/3 innings Tuesday against the Miami Marlins. That start came after he lasted just five innings and yielded five runs in a 5-4 loss in San Francisco.

“He wasn’t the same,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said after Nola’s start Tuesday. “He made more mistakes than he usually does.”

"I struggled with location," added Nola. "I was up in the zone way too much, that's not where I need to be."

In his only start against Atlanta this season, a 3-1 Phillies win on June 6, Nola allowed one run on five hits in eight innings.

The Braves counter with right-hander Lucas Sims who will be making his sixth big league start. He hurled six scoreless innings in a 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners in his last start while allowing three hits. He struck out four against two walks.

The Phillies have dominated the Braves this year, taking 11 of 13 contests including six straight victories. The 11 wins account for 23 percent of all Philadelphia victories this season.

Monday's Lineup
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Nick Williams, RF
4. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
5. Daniel Nava, LF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Pedro Florimon, CF
8. Cameron Rupp, C
9. Aaron Nola, P
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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