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Phillies look to end 4-game skid against Roark, Nationals

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Philadelphia Phillies (3-7) will look to snap their four-game skid Saturday afternoon on Jackie Robinson Day, as they take on RHP Tanner Roark and the Washington Nationals (6-4) at Nationals Park.

Eight-year veteran RHP Jeremy Hellickson will make his third start of the season, despite leaving Sunday's home start against the Nationals early with a right forearm cramp.

The Phillies dropped the series opener 3-2 Friday afternoon in extra innings, a game in which first baseman Tommy Joseph hit his first home run of the season. Second baseman Daniel Murphy delivered the game-winning RBI with a double to left, his National League-leading sixth of the season, which scored right fielder Bryce Harper from first. Former club closer Jeanmar Gomez suffered the loss after tossing a scoreless ninth.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Philadelphia Phillies (3-7) Washington Nationals (6-4)
RHP Jeremy Hellickson RHP Tanner Roark
(1-0, 0.90 ERA) (2-0, 4.09 ERA)

In 10 innings this season, Hellickson, 30, has allowed only one run — a sacrifice fly RBI — on seven hits and two walks. He has just three strikeouts to his credit, however, the fewest among all qualified big league starters.

Hellickson Career vs. WSN: 1-3, 4.93 ERA, 38 1/3 IP, 31 H, 22 R, 21 ER, 7 HR, 16 BB, 29 SO, 1.226 WHIP


Roark, 30, is 2-0 through two starts this season in 6-4 and 14-6 home victories against the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively. The right-hander's last start against the Phillies came on June 11, where he tossed seven shutout innings on six hits, one walk and seven strikeouts.

Roark Career vs. PHI: 5-5, 3.59 ERA, 62 2/3 IP, 58 H, 25 R, 25 ER, 5 HR, 12 BB, 51 SO, 1.117 WHIP

 Starting Lineups:

Philadelphia Phillies (3-7) Washington Nationals (6-4)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 2B Cesar Hernandez S 1  SS Wilmer Difo S
2 LF Howie Kendrick R 2 3B Anthony Rendon  R
3 CF Odubel Herrera L 3 RF Bryce Harper L
4 3B Maikel Franco R 4 2B Daniel Murphy L
5 RF Michael Saunders L 5 1B Ryan Zimmerman R
6 1B Tommy Joseph  R 6 LF Chris Heisey R
7 C Andrew Knapp S 7 CF  Michael Taylor R
8 SS Freddy Galvis S 8 C Jose Lobaton S
9 P Jeremy Hellickson R 9 P Tanner Roark R

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 1:05 p.m.
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game Notes:

  • Phillies pitching has the second-highest team ERA this season, 5.11, trailing only the defending American League champion Cleveland Indians (5.42). Second baseman Cesar Hernandez is tied with 10 other players for seventh in runs scored, 9.
  • Phillies closer Joaquin Benoit has not allowed a run in 29 of his last 30 appearances, good for a 0.31 ERA.
  • Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera is batting .467/.556/.600 lifetime against Roark with five singles, two doubles, a walk and two RBIs spanning 15 career at-bats. Jayson Werth, Stephen Drew, Daniel Murphy and Michael Taylor have all gone yard once against Hellickson in 55 combined at-bats. Drew, a former member of the now-defunct Camden Riversharks, is on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.


What's Next:

  • Sunday, April 16, 2017: at Washington Nationals, 1:35 p.m.
    • Nationals Park
    • RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 1.98 ERA) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 0.69 ERA)
    • TV: CSN, MLBN; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP


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