Miami @ Philadelphia preview

Citizens Bank Park

Last Meeting ( Jul 15, 2018 ) Philadelphia 5, Miami 10

The Philadelphia Phillies had a strong showing on the road against the best team in the majors and now return home to try their hand at one of the worst when they host the Miami Marlins in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night. The Phillies split two games at the Boston Red Sox, dropping an extra-inning affair Monday before picking up a 3-1 win the next night.

Maikel Franco had two hits, two walks and two runs scored to help back a dominant performance by Jake Arrieta as Philadelphia snapped a four-game slide. The Phillies enter the set clinging to a half-game lead in the National League East over the Atlanta Braves, whose matchup with the Marlins on Wednesday was rained out. Miami, which took two of three at home against Philadelphia prior to the All-Star break, dropped its last two games to the Braves while giving up 16 combined runs. Rookie Trevor Richards will try to give the Marlins a better showing on the mound when he starts the series opener opposite fellow right-hander Nick Pivetta for the Phillies.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FS Florida (Miami), NBCS Philadelphia

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Trevor Richards (3-5, 4.06 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Nick Pivetta (6-9, 4.85)

Richards allowed one run and 10 hits across 18 2/3 innings over his last three starts, beginning with six scoreless frames in a win over the Phillies on July 14. He has not yielded a home run in each of his last four outings and served up only one long ball in a span of nine starts. The Drury University product surrendered three runs over four innings in a no-decision at Philadelphia on April 8.

Pivetta has 28 strikeouts and three walks in 18 innings over his last three starts but he has given up 14 runs (12 earned) in that stretch. He blanked the Marlins over 5 2/3 frames while fanning nine batters earlier this season at home. J.T. Realmuto is 3-for-6 with three doubles against the 25-year-old Pivetta, who has 80 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings at home.


1. Franco has three straight two-hit games and recorded multiple hits in six of his last nine contests.

2. Philadelphia is 18-21 against division opponents - 4-5 versus Miami - and 41-27 against all other opponents.

3. Miami's rainout in Atlanta will be made up as part of a doubleheader Aug. 13.

PREDICTION: Phillies 4, Marlins 3

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