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 35 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.
Hopkins has been the talk of baseball after clubbing 18 homers in his first 34 games before he was shut down in Philadelphia’s 4-0 loss to Oakland in the series opener. Matt Olson provided the Athletics with the only runs they would need with a two-run shot for his 19th of the year, coming in 51 games. Matt Joyce also had a two-run blast — his career-best 24th — as Oakland won for only the 23rd time in 72 road games. The Phillies, who had scored 27 runs in winning their previous three games, turn to a promising rookie pitcher in Ben Lively while Oakland counters with Kendall Graveman.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NBCSN California (Oakland), CSN Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Kendall Graveman (5-4, 4.48 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Ben Lively (3-6, 3.86)
Graveman bounced back from a pair of mediocre efforts against the Los Angeles Angels — both no-decisions — by picking up the win with six innings of one-run ball against Houston on Sunday. He had allowed nine runs in 10 innings in the two outings versus the Angels to end a streak of three straight quality starts. Graveman is unbeaten at home but 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in seven road starts.
Lively was a hard-luck loser against Stephen Strasburg and Washington on Sunday, giving up three runs and six hits while striking out seven over a season-high eight innings. It was his fourth quality start in five turns since he was recalled from Lehigh Valley on Aug. 20. Lively is seeking his first victory at Citizens Bank Park since winning his major league debut on June 3.
1. Phillies SS J.P. Crawford had both his team’s hits Friday to extend his hitting streak to five games.
2. Olson has belted 11 homers in his last 17 games.
3. Phillies rookie RF Nick Williams had his 12-game hitting streak halted in the series opener.
PREDICTION: Phillies 5, Athletics 3