Phillies welcome the Orioles for two in South Philadelphia

Baltimore visits Philadelphia
Zach Eflin had an outstanding June and hopes to extend his winning ways into July as he and the Phillies open a two-game set with Baltimore on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.

The 24-year-old righty finished 5-0 the month of June with a 1.76 ERA and is a major reason why the Phillies find themselves sitting just 3 1/2 games off the pace in the National League East and in possession of a Wild Card spot if the season were to end today.

Eflin faced the Yankees in his last outing and tossed a gem, surrendering four hits over seven scoreless innings.

“Eflin was just outstanding,” manager Gabe Kapler told reporters last week. “…He certainly wasn’t rattled by anything. When he had base runners on, it’s almost like he got calmer. He did a really good job of controlling the running game and controlling his fastball. His working north-south better than he has before. And in June, he was dominant the whole month against some of baseball’s best teams.”

The Phillies have won 13 of their last 20 and welcome an Orioles team to Philadelphia that is the worst in baseball with a 24-59 mark.

Alex Cobb, who last winter was a potential free agent target for the Phillies, takes the bump for the O's in the opener. He's 2-9 with a 6.75 ERA and surrendered five runs on eight hits in his most recent start, a loss to Seattle.

Spotlight
It's no secret that the Phillies have an interest in the Orioles' Manny Machado, so it'll be interesting to see the reaction the 25-year-old receives from the Philadelphia fans. He's hitting .310 with 21 homers and 59 RBIs through 82 games.

Sources have continued to include the Phillies as a potential landing spot should the Orioles trade away the young superstar who is set to become a free agent following the 2018 season. The Dodgers, Indians, and Diamondbacks have also been mentioned as possible suitors.

Starting Lineup
Hernandez 4
Hoskins 7
Herrera 8
Santana 3
Williams 9
Kingery 6
Knapp 2
Franco 5
Eflin 1
_____________________________________________
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: