While Giancarlo Stanton’s home run barrage captivated baseball fans for much of the season, Rhys Hoskins perhaps has taken that torch while flexing his muscles with an impressive power surge of his own. With seven of his 17 homers coming at the expense of Miami, the 24-year-old rookie looks to send the host Philadelphia Phillies to a series sweep of the reeling Marlins on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park.
Hoskins launched his third homer of the series in Wednesday’s 8-1 rout of Miami, improving his RBI total to 37 to tie Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Zeke Bonura for the most accumulated in the first 33 games of a major-league career. Fellow rookie Nick Williams has collected 18 RBIs during his 11-game hitting streak heading into Thursday’s tilt versus starter Jose Urena, against whom he has a solo homer for his lone hit in five career at-bats. While the Phillies have erupted for 24 runs to win three of their last four decisions, the fading Marlins are floating in the wrong direction with losses in 14 of their last 16 games. Dee Gordon, who is riding a career-high 16-game hitting streak, is batting a robust .342 versus Philadelphia this season.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), CSN Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Jose Urena (13-6, 3.61 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Jake Thompson (1-2, 5.23)
Urena improved his already stellar road mark on Friday after allowing one run and three hits over 6 1/3 innings of a 7-1 rout at Atlanta. The 26-year-old Dominican has won four of his last five decisions overall, although he received a no-decision versus Philadelphia on Sept. 3 despite permitting one run over seven frames. Urena has struggled mightily against Tommy Joseph (5-for-10, two homers) and Odubel Herrera (4-for-8, two extra-base hits).
Thompson took his lumps for the third time in his last four outings with the Phillies, surrendering seven runs over five innings for the second time in that stretch in an 11-10 loss at Washington on Friday. The 23-year-old has permitted six homers in that span but kept the ball in the park versus Miami on Sept. 3. Thompson struck out a career-high seven in six strong innings of a no-decision in that contest.
1. Stanton is 1-for-9 in the series and just 14-for-66 versus Philadelphia, although eight of those hits were homers.
2. Herrera has a homer among his five hits with two RBIs and four runs scored in the series.
3. Miami 1B Justin Bour, who is 3-for-6 in this series, is 11-for-33 with three homers against Philadelphia this season.
PREDICTION: Marlins 5, Phillies 2