Rhys Hoskins’ impressive power display has generated enormous buzz for a Philadelphia Phillies team that has owned the league’s worst record for much of the season. With 18 homers in 34 contests since being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Hoskins looks to add to his historic total as the Phillies continue their 10-game homestand with the opener of a three-game interleague set against the Oakland Athletics on Friday.
Hoskins launched his fourth homer during Philadelphia’s three-game sweep of Miami with a two-run shot to highlight a seven-run second inning in Thursday’s 10-0 victory. The Phillies outscored the Marlins by a 27-9 margin en route to relinquishing ownership of the majors’ worst record. American League West cellar-dwelling Oakland saw its road-worst mark dip to 22-49 on Thursday afternoon with a 6-2 setback to Boston, marking the Athletics’ second loss in the last eight games. Ryon Healy homered for the second time in three outings to improve to 14-for-45 in September.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NBCSN California (Oakland), CSN Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Daniel Mengden (0-1, 7.07 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Mark Leiter Jr. (3-5, 4.84)
Mengden was impressive in his first big-league start since June 3, allowing two earned runs on five hits over six innings of a no-decision versus Houston on Saturday. The 24-year-old surrendered one homer in that contest and has been taken deep five times in his three outings (14 innings) this season. Mengden owns a 1-3 mark with a 4.60 ERA in five career starts against National League representatives, although he has yet to face the Phillies.
Leiter has struggled mightily in his last two starts, splitting the decisions despite surrendering 13 runs on 15 hits in 9 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old permitted a pair of homers in both outings, but considered himself fortunate to walk away with the 5-4 win at Washington on Saturday. “I just like I had pretty good command of all of my pitches,” Leiter told reporters. “Try to minimize the damage if you get in a tough spot.”
1. Oakland 3B Matt Chapman is 0-for-10 with six strikeouts in his last three games after going 7-for-15 with six RBIs and as many runs scored in his previous four.
2. Philadelphia rookie RF Nick Williams has collected 18 RBIs during his 12-game hitting streak.
3. Athletics RF Mark Canha has recorded three-hit performances in two of his last three games.
PREDICTION: Phillies 6, Athletics 5