After taking two consecutive shutout losses, the Philadelphia Phillies hope a one-run win on Monday provides an offensive spark as they play the host Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday to continue their three-game series.
The Phillies are coming off a 4-3 victory, the 17th straight time they won when they scored four or more runs. Philadelphia, which was blanked by the New York Mets on Saturday and Sunday, improved to 52-16 when putting up a minimum of four runs.
Philadelphia’s Tuesday starter will be right-hander Kyle Gibson (7-5, 4.29 ERA).
In his latest outing, Gibson allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits over six innings on Thursday, good enough for his 12th quality start of the season. However, it wasn’t good enough, as he took the loss in a 3-0 decision against the Miami Marlins.
Tuesday will mark his first career appearance against Cincinnati.
The Reds will counter with right-hander T.J. Zeuch (0-1, 13.50 ERA), who will be making his first career start in front of his hometown fans.
On Wednesday, the Mason, Ohio, native was roughed up by the New York Mets in his first appearance for the Reds. He tied his career high by allowing six hits while also giving up a career-high six earned runs in four inning. He became the 57th player to appear in a game for the Reds this year, tying the 2003 single-season club record.
Zeuch has never faced the Phillies.
Zeuch was promoted on Aug. 10 to fill the rotation spot vacated by right-hander Robert Dugger, who landed on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder pain just three days after his first start for the Reds.
One Phillies player he won’t have to deal with on Tuesday is Bryce Harper, but the slugger is getting closer to a return to action
On Monday, Harper had his first batting practice session in Philadelphia since he fractured his left thumb in San Diego on June 25. Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said Harper took 60 swings and hit off the team’s high-velocity pitching machine.
“I just texted him, and he said he feels great,” Thomson said before the Monday game. “I’d say he’s getting close, but probably not there yet.”
Harper was batting .318 with 15 homers and 48 RBIs in 64 games before he was hit by a pitch from San Diego southpaw Blake Snell.
Thomson said Harper will take batting practice again Wednesday and likely will need at least one more BP session, leaving it unlikely Harper will begin a rehab assignment this weekend.
But Thomson added that if Harper starts seeing minor league action sometime next week, a return to the team might be only a week away.
Cincinnati center fielder Nick Senzel left the Reds’ Sunday win over the Chicago Cubs in the fourth inning due to right hamstring tightness.
Senzel was held out of the series opener with the Phillies on Monday, but Reds manager David Bell is hopeful Senzel could return to the lineup as early as Tuesday.
“He’s a little bit sore,” Bell said. “We think he can be back in the next day or two. If that were to change for any reason, then we would have to discuss the IL, but that’s not being considered right now.”
Albert Almora Jr., who shifted from left to center to replace Senzel on Sunday, got the start there on Monday. He went 1-for-4 with a double, a run and three strikeouts in the series opener against Philadelphia.
–Field Level Media