Kansas City Royals (42-36) at Philadelphia Phillies (35-45)
Friday, July 01 - 7:05 PM EST
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Manager Pete Mackanin was incredulous after seeing his Philadelphia Phillies win three in a row and five of seven to finish a successful nine-game road trip. Mackanin hopes the Phillies' run of good fortune continues on Friday as they begin a six-game homestand with the opener of a three-game series versus the Kansas City Royals.
"I don't know what happened. When we left Philly, we became a different team," Mackanin told reporters after the Phillies completed a three-game sweep of Arizona on Wednesday. Philadelphia was downright brutal during its most recent stint at Citizens Bank Park, as it was outscored 42-9 en route to dropping all six contests as part of its season-high nine-game losing streak. Kansas City claimed its fourth win in five games with a 4-2 triumph over "Show Me State" rival St. Louis on Thursday, raising its woeful road record to just 15-25. Kendrys Morales went deep among his three hits and improved to 16-for-24 with three homers, seven RBIs and six runs scored during his six-game hitting streak, but he is 0-for-4 in his career against Friday starter Jeremy Hellickson.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Kansas City, CSN Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Ian Kennedy (6-6, 3.96 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Jeremy Hellickson (5-6, 4.23)
Kennedy will attempt to record back-to-back wins for the third time this season after allowing one run and three hits while striking out a season-high 11 over seven innings in Sunday's 6-1 victory over Houston. The lone run permitted came on a solo shot, marking the 31-year-old's 16th homer surrendered in his last nine turns. Kennedy has yielded just three runs and seven hits over his last two outings after allowing 16 and 22 in his previous three.
Hellickson posted his first win since May 18 on Saturday after permitting one earned run and five hits in six innings of a 3-2 triumph over San Francisco. The 29-year-old kept the ball in the park after yielding seven homers in his previous five outings. Hellickson owns a 1-2 career record versus Kansas City while allowing the club to bat a generous .326 against him.
1. Phillies 3B/LF Cody Asche went 12-for-30 with six doubles and as many RBIs during the team's recent road trip.
2. Royals C Salvador Perez is 1-for-10 with three strikeouts in his last two games overall and 1-for-14 lifetime versus the Phillies.
3. Philadelphia RF Peter Bourjos is riding high with a nine-game hitting streak and is 24-for-51 (.471) since June 12.
PREDICTION: Royals 6, Phillies 2