Phillies avoid sweep as Nola wins battle of Cy Young contenders
Former Phillies Ace Cole Hamels Thriving With First-Place Cubs

Phillies, Arrieta Vie for Single-Season Interleague Wins Record in Opener Against Blue Jays

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Looking to capture their 70th win of the season and stay in striking distance of the postseason chase, the Philadelphia Phillies (69-58) and RHP Jake Arrieta will take on rookie southpaw Ryan Borucki and the Toronto Blue Jays (58-69) in the first of a three-game interleague series Friday evening at Rogers Centre.

Right-hander Aaron Nola outdueled RHP Max Scherzer and the the Washington Nationals, 2-0, in Thursday's matinee battle between Cy Young Award hopefuls. While tossing eight scoreless frames with nine strikeouts for his 15th win of the season, Nola improved his ERA to 2.13, matching Scherzer for the second-best mark in the National League behind only New York Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (1.71). Odubel Herrera launched a two-run home run in the seventh, his 20th, accounting for the game's only runs and one of three hits for the Phillies offense overall. Right-hander Pat Neshek notched his fourth save in the ninth, improving his respective ERA to 1.06.

The Phillies are 11-6 (.647) against American League opponents this season, tied with the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs for the fourth-best interleague win percentage in the majors. The Blue Jays follow with the fifth-best interleague record (.643), winning nine of their 14 contests opposite the National League this season. The Phillies need at least one win this series to set a franchise record for interleague wins in a season (12).


Starting Pitching Matchup:

Philadelphia Phillies (69-58) Toronto Blue Jays (58-69)
RHP Jake Arrieta LHP Ryan Borucki
(9-8, 3.25 ERA) (2-3, 4.27 ERA)

RHP Jake Arrieta, Age: 32

  • 2018 vs. TOR: N/A
  • Career vs. TOR: 4-2, 4.85 ERA, 8 G, 7 GS, 42 2/3 IP, 45 H, 24 R, 23 ER, 6 HR, 16 BB, 35 SO, 1.430 WHIP
  • Career at Rogers Centre: 1-2, 6.04 ERA, 4 G, 4 GS, 22 1/3 IP, 27 H, 16 R, 15 ER, 4 HR, 8 BB, 19 SO, 1.567 WHIP

The Phillies have lost each of Arrieta's three starts in August, despite the right-hander posting a 2.84 ERA, .214/.267/.300 opposing slash, and just one home run surrendered through 19 innings. Through three interleague starts this season, the Farmington, Missouri, native is 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA, 13-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.339 WHIP spanning 18 2/3 innings.

Arrieta last opposed the Blue Jays on August 18 last season, while a member of the Chicago Cubs. In 6 1/3 frames, Arrieta allowed just one run on six hits and two walks, while punching out six of his 26 batters faced. 


LHP Ryan Borucki, Age: 24

  • 2018 vs. PHI: N/A
  • Career vs. PHI: N/A
  • Career at Rogers Centre: 1-1, 2.52 ERA, 4 G, 4 GS, 25 IP, 28 H, 9 R, 7 ER, HR, 5 BB, 17 SO, 1.320 WHIP

Borucki will make his first career interleague start and his 11th career start overall. In six starts since the All-Star break, the rookie southpaw is 2-2 with a 4.85 ERA, 12-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.517 over 29 2/3 frames. Borucki has recorded just five strikeouts over his last four starts and 83 batters faced. The Mundelein, Illinois, native has as many strikeouts (10) as walks (10) over his last five outings.

In his most recent start — away against the New York Yankees on August 19 — Borucki retired just two batters on 44 pitches, allowing six runs on three singles, two walks and one home run. 

Starting Lineups:

Philadelphia Phillies (69-58) Toronto Blue Jays (58-69)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 2B Cesar Hernandez S 1 SS Lourdes Gurriel Jr. R
2 LF Rhys Hoskins R 2 2B Devon Travis R
3 3B Asdrubal Cabrera S 3 1B Justin Smoak S
4 C Wilson Ramos R 4 DH Kendrys Morales S
5 1B Carlos Santana S 5 RF Randal Grichuk R
6 DH Maikel Franco R 6 CF Kevin Pillar R
7 CF Odubel Herrera  L 7 C Russell Martin R
8 SS Scott Kingery  R 8 3B Aledmys Diaz R
9 RF Roman Quinn  S 9 LF Billy McKinney L

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 7:07 p.m.
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game Notes:


  • With 35 games to go, the Phillies remain three games out of the National League East race, and one game out of the second Wild Card spot.
  • Nick Williams and Carlos Santana's seven-game hitting streaks came to an end on Thursday, as they both went a combined 0-7 with a walk and three strikeouts. Catcher Jorge Alfaro, however, extended his hitting streak to five games, dating back to the first game of August 16's single-admission doubleheader against the Mets.
  • The Phillies have fallen in seven of their last 10 games against the Blue Jays since July 29, 2015, outscored, 63-38, and outhit, 98-74. The Phillies are 0-5-3 in their last eight series opposite the Blue Jays, with the last series win coming on the road, July 1-3, 2011.


  • In three games against the Blue Jays this season, the Phillies are slashing just .198/.267/.375 with 10 runs scored, five doubles, four home runs, eight RBI, eight walks and 25 strikeouts over 105 plate appearances. On the mound, Phillies pitching has combined for a 3.67 ERA, 1.148 WHIP, and .224/.290/.347 opposing slash.
  • Blue Jays outfielder Curtis Granderson — who the Phillies reportedly showed interest in acquiring this past July — is 11-37 all-time against Arrieta with two doubles, one triple, three home runs, 10 RBI, four walks and seven strikeouts (.297/.349/.649). Likewise, right fielder Randal Grichuk has gone yard twice against Arrieta spanning 22 career at-bats (.364/.364/.955), while third baseman Russell Martin has homered once in 16 at-bats (.250/.333/.438).


What's Next:

Saturday, August 25, 2018: at Toronto Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m.

  • Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
  • RHP Nick Pivetta (7-10, 4.66 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-5, 4.52 ERA)
  • TV: NBCSP; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP


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