Padres, Phillies look to halt skids in series opener

National Sports

Coming off a brutal road trip, the San Diego Padres return home looking to regroup against the Philadelphia Phillies, who have struggled no matter where have played of late.

The Padres look to avoid a fourth straight defeat Friday night against the Phillies, who are trying to keep their skid from reaching five games.

Both San Diego and Philadelphia are in the mix for a postseason spot, but neither is playing like a playoff-caliber team at the moment.

The Padres have been outscored 51-26 while dropping seven of eight, and they just endured a 1-6 road stretch at Arizona and Colorado — teams that are a combined 51 games under .500. However, San Diego could feel somewhat confident about getting back on track since it has won its past two home series.

“No excuses,” San Diego manager Jayce Tingler said. “It’s got to be everybody coming together.

“There’s a ton of belief in the group. … It’s just got to be a group of men fighting.”

Padres starting pitchers have severely struggled of late. However, scheduled Friday starter Blake Snell (6-4, 4.80 ERA) has yielded only three runs and struck out 25 — with eight walks — over 17 innings while going 2-0 in three August starts.

The left-hander allowed two of those runs while fanning six over five innings of no-decision at Arizona on Aug. 13. Snell gave up two hits and walked four over four scoreless innings at Philadelphia on July 4.

Philadelphia’s Rhys Hoskins walked and was hit by a pitch in his two career plate appearance against Snell. Out since Aug. 6 with a groin strain, Hoskins, the Phillies’ leader with 24 homers and 68 RBIs and batting .394 (13-for-33) in his past 10 games, could be ready to return Friday.

Hoskins’ return would be a boost for the Phillies, who have averaged 2.3 runs while going 2-7 since their season-high, eight-game winning streak to open the month. Philadelphia managed six total runs while being swept in a three-game set at Arizona this week.

Matt Moore (2-3, 6.07 ERA) is slated to take the mound for the Phillies, looking to build on his best outing of the season. The left-hander, who allowed five runs and six hits while throwing 62 pitches over 4 1/3 innings of two relief outings on Aug. 4 and Aug. 10, struck out eight with two walks over six scoreless and hitless frames Saturday during a 6-1 victory over Cincinnati.

Moore was pulled after throwing 76 pitches against the Reds because Phillies manager Joe Girardi needed him to remain in the rotation. For Moore, achieving some needed team success amid a pennant race is the most important factor at play.

“To be able to come through, whether it be in the bullpen or in the rotation or somewhere in between, really, is all I want to do,” Moore said. “Be a part of it and contribute in a positive way.”

Moore is 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in two career starts against the Padres, both in 2017. He has never faced San Diego star Fernando Tatis Jr., who is 6-for-17 (.353) with three homers and five RBIs in four games since coming off the injury list after recovering from a shoulder issue.

–Field Level Media

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