After claiming the 10,000th win in franchise history, the visiting Philadelphia Phillies look to start on their second 10,000 and earn a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds in a matinee series finale on Wednesday.
An 11-4 win on Tuesday clinched Philadelphia’s first series win in Cincinnati since the Phillies took two of three in 2012.
On Wednesday, left-hander Ranger Suarez (8-5, 3.52 ERA) gets the starting assignment for the Phillies. Suarez will be making his 21st start of the season.
The Phillies have won the last five starts by Suarez, including last Friday in New York. He held the Mets to three hits and one run over seven innings, settling for a no-decision in a 2-1, 10-inning Philadelphia win.
The Reds also will send a lefty to the mound as Nick Lodolo (3-4, 4.72 ERA) will make the 11th start of his rookie season and his first career start against Philadelphia.
Lodolo’s last start came Thursday in Dyersville, Iowa, in the “Field of Dreams” game. The southpaw allowed four runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out six but walking four and hitting a batter in a 4-2 setback against the Chicago Cubs.
Since returning from a two-month stint on the injured list caused by a strained lower back, Lodolo has made seven starts, going 2-2 with a 4.36 ERA.
Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said Kyle Schwarber, the team’s leader with 34 homers, is unlikely to return to the lineup as a DH until the series opener against the Mets in Philadelphia on Friday. Schwarber has had just one at-bat since Thursday due to a right calf strain.
The Phillies have a day off Thursday, giving Schwarber an extra day to recover, though Thomson said the slugger is available to pinch-hit in Wednesday’s series finale.
After a 1-for-5 effort in the series opener Monday, Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos enjoyed a better night Tuesday in his return to Cincinnati. In the 11-4 blowout win, he homered and doubled twice against the team that let him go in free agency after last season.
Castellanos, who joined Cincinnati in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, slugged a career-high 34 home runs, drove in 100 RBIs and was selected to his first career All-Star Game in 2021.
“There’s such a deep history of baseball here that, when tapped into, is pretty powerful,” Castellanos said. “I really enjoyed my time being able to do that. The fact that I was able to connect with the city and the fan base so quickly in just one real year, I think, is pretty special. I don’t know if that happens very often like that.”
Albert Almora Jr. filled in for a second straight game Tuesday night for Cincinnati’s regular center fielder, Nick Senzel. Almora made a pair of diving catches and went 1-for-4.
Senzel left an 8-5 win over the Cubs in the fourth inning on Sunday because of right hamstring tightness. Reds manager David Bell said Senzel has been cleared to perform all baseball activities, and Bell is hopeful the outfielder could return to the lineup on Wednesday.
With the team set for a day off on Thursday, Bell is still leaving open the possibility that the Reds hold Senzel back until the series opener in Pittsburgh on Friday.
“I think he really needs to have a really good (workout) day to make (a Wednesday return) happen,” Bell said. “Otherwise, we would wait until Friday.”
Reds veteran first baseman Joey Votto is in the midst of a career-worst slump. He went 0-for-4 on Tuesday, dropping his average to .205 and extending his hitless streak to 0-for-22. His previous worst drought was 0-for-19, done two times.
–Field Level Media