Phillies’ Aaron Nola looks to cool off hot Giants

Sports

The San Francisco Giants will look for their sixth consecutive victory when they host the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

After sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks in a four-game series, the Giants defeated the Phillies 5-3 on Friday.

Different players have contributed on different nights. This time, LaMonte Wade Jr. provided a triple, double and two RBIs and Brandon Belt homered.

“We’re just trying to do our part,” said Steven Duggar. “I just think it’s a testament to the guys at the top wearing down pitchers, honestly. We’re able to talk and get some feedback through those early guys in the lineup and ultimately capitalize.”

The Giants have moved 20 games above .500 for the first time since July of 2016.

This ascension began in spring training and has carried over into mid-to-late June. The Giants have excelled in all phases — hitting, pitching and defense.

They have scored 42 runs in the last five wins.

“You want to be patient. You want to be confident in track records showing up over larger sample sizes, and at the same time, you want to have some urgency,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “So, the cool thing is that the urgency can be applied to the training, and not to the evaluation.”

The Giants will send Alex Wood (6-3, 3.71 ERA) to the mound for his 12th start of the season.

Wood is 3-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 14 career appearances, nine starts, against the Phillies.

The Phillies will attempt to even the series when Aaron Nola takes the mound for his 15th start.

In Nola’s last start, he turned in a brilliant performance with 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the New York Yankees. Nola (5-4, 3.69 ERA) gave up three hits, struck out nine and walked one.

“Better things happen when you’re ahead in the count,” Nola said. “I always have my confidence. I had some things not go my way (in previous starts). It was frustrating. I didn’t get out of the fifth inning in three out of four games. That’s not what I usually do. Not having the command I’m used to having is frustrating. But I still go into every single game with confidence.”

For Nola’s career against the Giants, he’s 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA in four starts.

The Phillies will be without Jean Segura for at least three weeks with an injured groin.

Segura was hitting .332 with three home runs and 20 RBIs.

“It’s significant because Jean was playing at an extremely high level,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “He was doing everything — getting on base, stealing bases, scoring runs, driving in runs, playing really good defense. He was leading our infield. He was a veteran out there. It’s a substantial loss. We just need some guys to step up a little bit and perform.”

Another concern could be Bryce Harper, who has missed significant time this season after being hit in the face and suffering an injured wrist. Harper has most recently been dealing with a sore lower back and despite recording two hits, he looked to be struggling in running to first base on Friday.

“I think you get smarter as time goes on and you realize how to deal with it better and better,” Girardi said. “I hurt (my back) when I was 26. And I played until I was 39. It’s maintainable. … I think you know it’s unpredictable, but it’s not like I sit around thinking, ‘Is it going to happen today?’ I just roll him out there and say, ‘OK, he’ll be good.'”

–Field Level Media

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