The Philadelphia Phillies — perhaps without first baseman Rhys Hoskins — will shoot for a three-game sweep of the host Miami Marlins on Thursday night.
Hoskins suffered a bruise on his right hand when he was hit by a pitch from Edward Cabrera in the third inning on Wednesday. X-rays were negative.
Even so, the Phillies (80-62) went on to win their fifth consecutive game. Former Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto victimized his former team with two homers and four RBIs in a 6-1 victory.
The Phillies, who hold the second of three National League wild-card positions, have won 10 of their past 12 meetings with the Marlins. Miami won the teams’ first head-to-head series this year, taking three out of four games at home in mid-April, but the Phillies have dominated since then.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson said sweeping the Marlins over three games in the final series before the All-Star break was a boost to his team.
“That was an important series,” Thomson said on Wednesday. “I know the Marlins haven’t scored a lot of runs lately, but they have the ability to score. They have done it against us. They are a good club.”
On Thursday, Philadelphia will start right-hander Noah Syndergaard (9-9, 4.09 ERA), who is very familiar with the Marlins from his days as a member of the New York Mets.
Miami (58-85) will start right-hander Pablo Lopez (8-10, 4.04 ERA).
Syndergaard, since being acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 2, is 4-1 with a 4.61 ERA in seven starts for the Phillies.
In 14 career starts against the Marlins, Syndergaard is 7-2 with a 2.30 ERA. This year,he is 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts vs. Miami.
The 30-year-old veteran is 7-3 with a 3.56 ERA at home this year. On the road, he is 2-6 with a 5.06 ERA.
Lopez is 2-1 with a 3.16 ERA in seven career starts against the Phillies. He beat Philadelphia on April 15, when he tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings in Miami.
The Marlins are 13-15 when Lopez starts. On Thursday, he likely will have to face Phillies star Bryce Harper, who leads his squad with a .956 OPS.
Harper went 1-for-3 with a homer, two walks and two runs on Wednesday, but he was overshadowed by Realmuto.
Syndergaard figures to face Marlins rookie third baseman Jordan Groshans, who went 3-for-3 on Wednesday in his second major league game. The 22-year-old Texas native went 0-for-3 in his debut on Tuesday.
“Getting that first hit is always big, to get that out of the way,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “I’m sure as the game went on, his confidence grew.
“He has a nice swing. If he stays with his approach, he has a chance to hit. He is still young, and he will get bigger and stronger.”
Groshans said he felt more comfortable on Wednesday.
“It was awesome,” he said. “(Getting the first hit) was a big relief. I felt like the world was off my shoulders.
“I just tried to see the ball up. I tried not to swing at anything low in the zone.”
–Field Level Media