Phillies visit Capital to face Nationals
The Phillies are coming off an embarrassing series finale in Atlanta following a 15-1 loss at SunTrust Park. The loss dropped the Phillies to 2 1/2 games off the pace in the NL East.

The Phillies open a four-game set in Washington tonight, aiming to break away from a stint of having won just 10 of their last 16 contests.

Jake Arrieta is set to start the opener, facing Nats lefty Patrick Corbin.

The Nationals have won nine of their last 14 and attempting to claw their way back into contention in the NL East.

The series in Atlanta exposed a desperate need for the Phils to acquire at least one, if not two, options for the backend of the starting rotation. Vince Velasquez started Sunday's contest and lifted after just 2 1/2 innings. Cole Irvin didn't do much better, surrendering six runs over 3 2/3 innings.

“We have to be better every time through the rotation, there's no question about it,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters in Atlanta afterward. “We're going to need to perform really well against teams like the Atlanta Braves. They are a deep lineup. We've obviously played them well overall in the year, but today's effort wasn't good enough.”

As of now, the club does not have a starter set for Friday's series opener against the Marlins.

Compounding matters is the lackluster output from the offense as of late. Maikel Franco is hitting .205 on the year, Cesar Hernandez is hitting .204 over his last 30 games, and Jean Segura - who started the year on a tear - is hitting .172 over his last 15 games.

The Nationals enter tonight five games below .500 but have a positive run differential on the year and are a team that's expected to be in the running for a postseason spot come September.

It's a pivotal series for the Phillies. Perhaps not a do-or-die scenario, but certainly an important one.

Roster Moves
The Phillies reinstated Roman Quinn from the injured list and recalled reliever Edgar Garcia from Triple-A. The club also optioned outfielder Nick Williams and placed Jerad Eickhoff on the injured list with right bicep tendinitis.

Jay Bruce and J.T. Realmuto remain day-to-day. Bruce with a tight hamstring and Realmuto with a bruised groin.

Monday Lineup
Segura 6
Harper 9
Kingery 5
Hoskins 3
Rodriguez 7
Quinn 8
Hernandez 4
Knapp 2
Arrieta 1
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

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