Henderson Alvarez finishes a long road back to the majors when he makes his debut for the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday in the finale of a three-game series with the visiting Oakland Athletics. An All-Star with Miami in 2014, Alvarez made four starts in 2015 and missed all of last year while recovering from a pair of shoulder surgeries.
“It’s been tough, but I’ve been able to keep my head up,” Alvarez told reporters. “I’ve been working hard, and it has finally paid off. I wanted to show everyone that my shoulder was OK, that all my body was in good condition, so to be back here is unbelievable.” The 27-year-old will be facing the team for whom he made 11 appearances in the minors last year. The Athletics blanked the Phillies 4-0 in the series opener before losing an early two-run lead in a 5-3 setback Saturday night. Philadelphia phenom Rhys Hoskins was held hitless in three at-bats for the second straight game after clubbing six home runs in a six-game stretch.
TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, NBCSN California (Oakland), CSN Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics LH Sean Manaea (10-10, 4.65 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Henderson Alvarez (NR)
After spinning six scoreless innings two turns ago, Manaea was lit up at Fenway Park on Tuesday. He allowed a season-high seven runs and a career high-tying 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings of an 11-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. The 25-year-old is 6-13 with a 5.03 ERA in 25 career road starts.
Alvarez won 12 games and posted a 2.65 ERA with the Marlins in 2014, but was 0-4 with a 6.45 mark the following season before the physical issues took over. He made seven starts with Long Island of the independent Atlantic League this year and then was solid through three outings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley upon signing with the Phillies. The Venezuela native has allowed five earned runs in 19 2/3 innings in his career at Citizens Bank Park.
1. Phillies C Jorge Alfaro has homered in consecutive games and owns four RBIs over his last three contests.
2. Athletics LF Khris Davis, who ranks second in the American League with 39 home runs, has missed the last three games to be with family following the birth of his first child.
3. Oakland is the first AL team to lose 50 road games.
PREDICTION: Athletics 5, Phillies 4