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Phillies in position to sweep struggling Marlins

Jul 6, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies will send right-hander Aaron Nola to the mound on Sunday when they try to finish a three-game sweep of the host Miami Marlins.

Nola (5-7, 3.35 ERA) will face a Miami offense that is 24th in the majors in runs scored.

Miami will counter with lefty Trevor Rogers (4-8, 5.42) against a Phillies offense that sits eighth in runs scored.

Nola is second among Philadelphia starters in ERA, and he has made one start against the Marlins this year. On June 13, Nola took a no-decision when he surrendered two runs on six hits and no walks in seven innings. He struck out six in a game the Phillies went on to win 3-2.

For his career against the Marlins, Nola is 4-8 with a 3.53 ERA in 18 starts. At Miami, Nola is 3-4 with a 3.09 ERA in nine starts.

Those numbers come with one caveat: July has been his worst month this season. He is 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts.

Rogers had a strong rookie year in 2021, going 7-8 with a 2.64 ERA. This year, however, the Marlins are just 5-12 when Rogers starts. He has struggled mostly at home, where he has a 7.27 ERA in eight starts (2-5). He has a better 3.95 ERA in nine road starts (2-3).

In seven career starts against the Phillies, Rogers is 1-3 with a 7.26 ERA.

Meanwhile, the Phillies’ offense may have just caught fire. Entering Saturday, the Phillies had scored just 14 runs in their past seven games.

If Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson was concerned, he didn’t let on.

“It’s the ebbs and flows of the season,” Thomson said. “We’re capable of scoring more than two runs per game, and I think we’ll do that.”

Former Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto could be a source of more offense on Sunday. In the first two games of this series, he is 5-for-8 with a homer, two doubles and three RBIs.

Realmuto had three hits against Miami on Friday, and Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara thinks familiarity was a factor.

“He caught (five) of my games when he was here,” Alcantara said. “I think that’s why he got those hits against me. He’s a great catcher, and he knows all my pitches.”

Realmuto, traded to the Phillies before the 2019 season, has never caught Rogers, so that advantage disappears on Sunday.

Then again, Realmuto homered on Saturday against Max Meyer, who was making his major league debut.

The Marlins batters, meanwhile, have also been slumping, including All-Star first baseman/DH Garrett Cooper, who hit .378 with 16 RBIs in June.

In July, however, Cooper is batting just .146 with five RBIs.

Injuries have not helped the Marlins; infielder Jon Berti is out due to a groin injury. He still leads the majors with 28 stolen bases, and his speed often gave Miami some cheap runs.

Similarly, Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. is out due to a back injury. An All-Star this year, Chisholm leads the Marlins with 14 homers and ranks second in steals with 12.

An injury to watch for the Phillies is a right knee strain that caused first baseman Rhys Hoskins to leave Saturday’s game in the eighth inning.

–Field Level Media