Rhys Hoskins continues making a tremendous impact in the opening month of his major league career for the Philadelphia Phillies, who open a three-game home series Monday against the Atlanta Braves. Hoskins, who became the fastest player to reach 10 homers in baseball’s modern era (17 games) on Saturday, slugged his 11th in Sunday’s 6-3 victory over the Cubs - his fifth consecutive game with a blast - and started a triple play in the fifth inning with a sliding catch in left field.
The Phillies look to continue dominating their National League East division rival this week, having defeated the Braves 11 times in 13 games this season and in all seven meetings in Philadelphia. The Braves were swept in a two-game series at home by the Phillies on Aug. 8-9, starting a stretch in which Atlanta has lost 12 of 18 contests - capped by Sunday’s 3-0 home defeat to Colorado. Braves third baseman Brandon Phillips moved within three hits of 2,000 for his career with a 2-for-4 performance Sunday, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. Rookie second baseman Ozzie Albies pushed his hitting streak to eight games with a seventh-inning single.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), CSN Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Lucas Sims (2-3, 4.13 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Aaron Nola (9-9, 3.58)
Sims has recorded back-to-back victories after losing his first three major-league starts, giving up only two runs and eight hits across 11 innings to defeat Colorado and Seattle. He was outstanding in his last start, holding the Mariners to three hits across six scoreless frames in a 4-0 victory on Tuesday. The 23-year-old has pitched at least five innings in each of his five starts, going six innings three times.
Nola looks to rebound after two consecutive tough starts, giving up 12 runs with five walks and 16 hits in 11 1/3 innings while losing to San Francisco and Miami. The back-to-back defeats ended a 10-start stretch during which Nola posted a 1.71 ERA while going 6-2 and issuing only 19 walks in 68 1/3 innings. The 24-year-old beat the Braves in his only appearance against them this season, and is 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA in six career starts against Atlanta.
1. Braves LF Matt Kemp has grounded into a major-league leading 23 double plays.
2. The Phillies have slugged homers in nine consecutive games and boast 25 blasts since Aug. 13, tied with the Chicago Cubs for most in the NL during that stretch.
3. Atlanta has not won a series since taking two-of-three from Miami at home on Aug. 4-6.
PREDICTION: Phillies 5, Braves 3