Phillies’ Aaron Nola seeks strikeout encore vs. Marlins

MLB

The Philadelphia Phillies, seeking their first winning streak in more than two weeks, will hand the ball to strikeout hero Aaron Nola on Wednesday as they face the visiting Miami Marlins.

The Phillies squeezed out a 4-3 win in the series opener on Tuesday despite nearly a experiencing their major-league-leading 22nd blown save.

Philadelphia, which hasn’t won consecutive contests since taking four straight from June 9-13, has alternated losses and wins over the past six games.

“I’ve said all along that this team is pretty good about bouncing back the next day,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said.

The Marlins, who have lost two in a row and six of eight, will have to contend with Nola, who is coming off a historic outing.

Nola (5-4, 3.97 ERA) struck out 10 consecutive Mets hitters on Friday in New York, joining Tom Seaver as the only pitchers in history to accomplish the feat. Seaver, pitching for the Mets, fanned 10 straight San Diego Padres on April 22, 1970.

“It’s pretty cool being in a category with Tom,” Nola said.

He exited after 5 1/3 scoreless innings, but the Phillies wound up losing 2-1 in eight innings in the first game of a doubleheader. Nola fanned 12 and walked one while yielding two hits.

“My curveball was effective today,” Nola said postgame. “It wasn’t popping out of my hand. I was getting swing and misses on that. My changeup wasn’t really popping either. I think the key is those pitches were down for the most part all day, and I think that’s why I got those swing and misses.”

In his career against the Marlins, Nola is 4-7 with a 3.13 ERA in 16 starts.

Nola will try to give a breather to a Phillies bullpen that had blown seven saves in the six previous games before Tuesday. Jose Alvarado earned his third save Tuesday but gave up two runs in 1 1/3 innings.

Philadelphia’s Rhys Hoskins snapped an 0-for-23 skid with a solo home run on Tuesday.

Miami fell to 6-17 this season in one-run games.

“It needs to be that sense of urgency, of winning every single game, every single pitch, every single at-bat, baserunning, every single battle,” said Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas, who missed Tuesday’s game due to cold-like symptoms. “You have to win every play so you can be a contender in this division.”

Marlins manager Don Mattingly has implored his team to play every night as if it’s a playoff game. However, the results haven’t been too positive lately.

“At this point, you can’t really look back and say, ‘Oh, it was still an OK series,'” Mattingly said. “You’ve really got to look game by game and think about winning every game. When you’re in division, these are teams that you’re going to be fighting with. Hopefully, we’re going to be in that mix. I believe we are, but you have to beat the clubs in your own division.

“At this point, it’s like every game, no matter who we play, we’ve got to win.”

The Marlins will send Jordan Holloway (1-2, 2.55 ERA) to the mound Wednesday for his third start of the season. Holloway has made one career appearance against the Phillies, his major league debut on July 26, 2020, when he tossed one-third of an inning and allowed two hits and no runs.

Before the Tuesday game, the Marlins traded right-handed reliever Adam Cimber and injured outfielder Corey Dickerson along with cash considerations to the Toronto Blue Jays for infielder Joe Panik and minor league right-hander Andrew McInvale.

–Field Level Media

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