Game 18: Phillies welcome division-leading Pirates to Philly

Jake Arrieta takes the mound Thursday night as the Phillies welcome the Pirates to Citizens Bank Park to open a 10-game homestand.

Arrieta threw 88 pitches on Saturday, surrendering two earned runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings in a win over Tampa Bay.

The Phillies come home after piecing together a 4-2 mark on the road following Wednesday's 7-3 to the Braves in Atlanta; it was the first winning road trip since June of 2016. The Phillies enter Thursday three games over .500 and three games behind the Mets in the NL East standings.

"You go out on the road and you go 4-2, you feel good coming home," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said after Wednesday's contest (see video below). "That's the biggest positive from this. We're going to go home stronger than when we left on this road trip. It's not an easy thing to do in baseball. I'm proud of our guys for doing that."



Who's Hot
Rhys Hoskins comes back to Philadelphia with a .389 wOBA over the last seven days to go along with a .850 OPS. He's also worked a walk in more than a quarter of his plate appearances.

Who's Not
Carlos Santana is hitting .095 over the last seven days and is hitting just .131 on the season.

Powder Blues
The Phillies will wear their retro powder-blue uniforms tonight for the first time at home since 1972 when the club wore the color at Veterans Stadium in a 15-3 defeat. Following the liss, the organization wore the powder-blue uniform for road games only before retiring it completely in 1988.

About the Pirates
Righty Jameson Taillon starts Thursday for the Pirates and has been dominant in the early going, allowing just two runs over 20 1/3 innings. He's also struck out 13.

The Pirates come to Philadelphia six-games over .500 while leading the NL Central and have relied equally on a potent offense and quality starting pitching. Entering Thursday the Pirates are the only club in baseball to have had a starter go at least five innings in every game this year.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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