Phillies have tough week ahead, host Boston for a pair

Phillies set to host Boston in Philadelphia
You don't want to say the coming week is do-or-die for the Phillies with more than a month and a half remaining in the regular season, but a poor showing at Citizens Bank Park this week could spell something close to doom for their postseason chances.

Things kick off Tuesday night as Philadelphia hosts Boston to open a quick two-game series. A strong start is imperative as the Phillies attempt to rid the taste of a putrid west coast swing capped by dropping two-of-three to the lowly San Diego Padres. The Red Sox arrive in Philly having won six-of-seven on the road with these two contests capping a nine-game trek.

The Phillies have encountered plenty of adversity this year and bounced back favorably, so manager Gabe Kapler and Co. are hopeful that trend will continue. The club now sits a game behind Atlanta in the NL East as the Braves won both ends of a doubleheader over the Marlins on Monday.

The Phillies and Red Sox met earlier this month at Fenway Park with Boston winning the first game in 12 innings before the Phils followed with a 3-1 victory behind a stellar outing by Jake Arrieta.

Nick Pivetta will be on the mound in the opener for the Phils, looking to build on his previous two starts where he's surrendered just two runs over 12 innings. The Red Sox counter with righty Rick Porcello who was hit around in his last start, allowing seven runs over four innings in Toronto.

Roster Moves
The Phillies optioned shortstop J.P. Crawford to triple-A Lehigh Valley and recalled reliever Hector Neris.

Crawford was activated from the disabled list on Friday after having been out since June 20 with a broken left hand. With the addition of Asdrubal Cabrera, Crawford doesn't have a starting role so the move back to the IronPigs will allow him regular plate appearances and a chance to play every day.

As for Neris, he was sent down after pitching to the tune of a 6.90 ERA over 33 appearances. The good news though is he appears to have found himself in Lehigh Valley, striking out 28 over 17 2/3 innings while surrendering three runs over 18 appearances.

Phillies Starting Lineup
Hernandez 4
Williams 9
Cabrera 6
Hoskins 7
Santana 3
Franco 5
Herrera 8
Alfaro 2
Pivetta 1
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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