Phillies Cruise Past Pirates for 2nd Straight Win
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Phillies Seek 1st Consecutive Series Wins in Pittsburgh Since 1987

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Behind RHP Zach Eflin, the Philadelphia Phillies (51-47) will look to continue their recent momentum into the second of a three-game road set opposite the Pittsburgh Pirates (45-51) Saturday evening at PNC Park.

RELATED | Phillies Cruise Past Pirates for 2nd Straight Win

The Phillies' offense came alive in the 6-1 series opener win, outhitting the Pirates 15-7 and going 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Adam Haseley tallied two RBI, including his second career home run to tie the game at one in the fifth. Cole Irvin was credited with his first career save, allowing only one hit over the final two frames to secure the Phillies win. Starter Jake Arrieta tossed 5 2/3 innings, allowing only one run on six hits, two walks and four strikeouts.

A win on Saturday would mark the first time that the Phillies won consecutive series at PNC Park, which opened in 2001, and the first time in Pittsburgh overall since 1987, notes The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Breen.


Starting for the Pirates will be four-year veteran RHP Joe Musgrove. The right-hander was originally slated to start in Sunday's finale, but he was moved up a day to replace RHP Trevor Williams, scratched due to flu-like symptoms.

Both Eflin and Musgrove struggled in their most recent starts last Monday, allowing a combined 14 hits, 12 runs (11 earned), four walks, and two home runs over 10 2/3 innings. The Phillies lost 16-2 to the Los Angeles Dodgers, while the Pirates were blanked, 7-0, by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Philadelphia Phillies (51-47) Pittsburgh Pirates (45-51)
RHP Zach Eflin RHP Joe Musgrove
(7-9, 4.16 ERA) (6-8, 4.31 ERA)

RHP Zach Eflin, Age: 25

  • Career vs. PIT: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 0.333 WHIP
  • Career at PNC Park: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 0.333 WHIP

Eflin has allowed seven runs in each of his last two starts against likely postseason teams in the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. He will oppose a less formidable offense on Saturday in the Pirates, who over the last two weeks have scored the fourth-fewest runs (37).

The right-hander's previous and only career start against the Pirates came in his eight career outing on July 22, 2016. Eflin dazzled with a three-hit shutout, while striking out six batters en route to the 4-0 Phillies win.


RHP Joe Musgrove, Age: 26

  • Career vs. PHI: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 0 GS, 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.667 WHIP
  • Career at PNC Park: 7-9, 4.61 ERA, 21 G, 21 GS, 121 IP, 127 H, 65 R, 62 ER, 17 HR, 25 BB, 106 SO, 1.256 WHIP

Musgrove won the 2017 World Series with the Houston Astros, having appeared in 38 games (15 starts) that season. In his 39 games (38 starts) with the Pirates over the past two seasons since, the El Cajon, California, native is 12-17 with a 4.18 ERA, 1.202 WHIP and 190-49 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 219 2/3 innings.

Starting Lineups:

Philadelphia Phillies (51-47) Pittsburgh Pirates (45-51)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1   TBA   1   TBA  
2       2      
3       3      
4       4      
5       5      
6       6      
7       7      
8       8      
9       9      

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game Notes:

  • With 64 games to go, the Phillies are currently tied with the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot.
  • Phillies Acquire RHP Mike Morin from Twins
  • The Pirates are just 1-6 since the All-Star break, whereas the Phillies are 4-4.
  • The Phillies have scored 24 runs over their last four games, and have won four of their last six.
  • Phillies utility player Scott Kingery has a five-game hitting streak, slashing .400/.520/.750 with six runs scored, eight hits, two home runs, three RBI, five walks and five strikeouts over 20 at-bats.
  • In the series opener, Pirates outfielder Corey Dickerson went 3-for-3 with a walk and run scored, improving his slash line to .297/.354/.485 over 35 games. Dickerson singled with one out in the second and came around to score his team's only run via catcher Elias Diaz's RBI knock.
  • No active member of the Pirates has reached base against Eflin in their careers. Likewise, Bryce Harper is hitless in three career at-bats against Musgrove with three strikeouts. Expect a low-scoring game on Saturday (click to expand).


What's Next:

  • Sunday, July 21, 2019: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:35 p.m.
    • PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pa.
    • Probable Pitchers: TBA
    • TV: NBCSP; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP



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