The streaking Los Angeles Dodgers will look for their eighth straight victory when they go for a series sweep against the host Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
After losing three of four to the Phillies last week in L.A., salvaging the finale, the Dodgers won four in a row over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On Saturday, the Dodgers rallied from a 4-1 deficit and came away with a 7-4 win to take the first two in the Phillies’ home park.
Mookie Betts led the way with a home run, double, single and three RBIs. He also added an outfield assist throwing out Odubel Herrera at home plate.
“This game is so hard so to be able to play well on both sides of the ball, you take it when it comes,” Betts said on a postgame interview on SportsNet LA. “I work hard on offense, defense, everything.”
Justin Turner started as the Dodgers’ designated hitter and had three hits with Max Muncy playing third base. Manager Dave Roberts said that combination will likely continue as often as possible.
“I tried to essentially thread the needle with him and Max, as far as giving them starts at third, starts at DH,” Roberts said. “You could argue that, with no definitive kind of role, as far as a DH or third baseman, you can’t get comfortable. So I’m gonna give Justin more DH days, so he can get more used to that role and give Max more third base days.”
The Dodgers will send Tony Gonsolin (4-0, 1.64 ERA) to the mound. Gonsolin is 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA in one career start in 2021 against the Phillies. He lasted 3 2/3 innings.
“I’ve talked with (Clayton Kershaw) a lot on how to go deeper in the game, what works and what doesn’t work and just trying to figure out what works for me,” Gonsolin said after his last start. “Anything to give our bullpen a break.”
Trea Turner will bring a 13-game hitting streak into Sunday’s finale.
The scuffling Phillies will hope to snap a three-game losing streak.
Philadelphia, which has gone 1-4 on this homestand, did receive a spark with the return of Bryce Harper.
The reigning National League Most Valuable Player missed five straight games while recovering from a PRP injection in his right elbow and went 1-for-4 on Saturday.
Harper does have a seven-game hitting streak despite the five-game absence.
“It’s frustrating,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said of the recent losses. “This is frustrating. We go out and have a really good road trip. We come home and have some games where we don’t score any runs.”
The Phillies scored four runs on Saturday after combining for four total runs in the first four games of the homestand.
Zach Eflin (1-3, 3.90 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Phillies. Eflin gave up five hits and one run in six strong innings in his last start against San Diego.
Eflin has struggled in six career starts against the Dodgers, going 0-3 with an 8.78 ERA.
“I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t pretty tired out there, but I was happy with the way the ball was coming out,” Eflin said after his last outing, his first since May 1.
–Field Level Media