Aaron Nola, Phillies hope to take two in a row from Brewers

MLB

The Philadelphia Phillies will turn to their ace to accomplish a rare feat this season: winning two games in a row.

The Phillies opened their four-game series against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers with a 4-3 victory on Monday. Aaron Nola will make his seventh start on Tuesday in search of that second straight win for the Phillies.

Philadelphia hasn’t won two consecutive games this season since winning four in a row to start its season.

Nola is 2-1 with a 3.11 earned run average. For Nola’s career against the Brewers, he holds an impressive 3-0 mark with a 2.97 ERA in six starts.

The banged-up Phillies lineup will likely be without Bryce Harper and Jean Segura. Harper appeared to reaggravate a sore left wrist on Sunday and was held out of Monday’s game. Harper returned Sunday after recovering from being hit in the face by Genesis Cabrera of the St. Louis Cardinals.

“We’ll see what we think the next move is,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said of Harper. “We’re hopeful that it’s not an IL, but obviously we’ve got to wait and see how he feels and what our doctors think.”

Segura has been struggling with a strained right quad and is expected to start a rehab assignment at the team’s alternate training site sometime this week.

Rookie Nick Maton has been impressive in his recent stint in the infield, hitting .327. Since the Phillies have received poor production from their center fielders, it’s possible that Maton could see some playing time there.

“That’s something that has been talked about a little bit,” Girardi said. “We’ve had him take fly balls to increase his availability to us. I’m not sure yet.”

Meanwhile, reliever Jose Alvarado had his three-game suspension reduced to two and has one more game to serve.

The Brewers finished just 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position in the series opener, but still hold a 9-4 road record.

Despite the loss, they welcomed back Christian Yelich (back) and Lorenzo Cain (quad) from long term injuries. Yelich, who hadn’t played since April 11, had two hits. Cain, who hadn’t played since April 13, hit a solo home run.

The Brewers still have 15 players on the injured list. For a team crushed by injuries, getting these two players back was vital.

“We’re excited to have them back,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Just to activate some players is a change from how last week went, for sure.”

Milwaukee will turn to Eric Lauer to try and even the series. Lauer (1-0, 0.00 ERA) tossed five scoreless innings in his first start of the year against the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Lauer threw 73 pitches and allowed four hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

In Lauer’s career against the Phillies, he’s 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in one start.

“There was nothing magical about it. We needed a guy to step up, and (Lauer) was the guy to do it,” Counsell said after Lauer’s previous start. “He’s been in this spot before. He’s pitched in these games, he’s pitched against this team a lot, so you know that part is crossed off and not going to faze him.”

–Field Level Media

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