Phillies hope to have Bryce Harper back vs. Marlins

National Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies will look to take a series lead when they host the Miami Marlins on Saturday.

The Phillies split a doubleheader on Friday, winning 5-2 before falling 7-0.

Bryce Harper was in the lineup for the first game but was surprisingly left out for the nightcap.

Afterward, manager Joe Girardi announced that Harper suffered from dehydration during the first game and was held out as a precaution.

“He was available as a pinch hitter if I needed him,” Girardi said. “We just thought, ‘Hey, make sure he’s OK tomorrow.'”

Girardi said Harper is expected to be back in the lineup Saturday.

After a stellar first game, the Phillies fell flat and managed only two hits in the second game.

“We just never got anything going,” Girardi said.

The Phillies will send Vince Velasquez to the mound on Saturday. Velasquez (3-4, 5.35 ERA) has been effective during his career against the Marlins, going 6-4 with a 4.19 ERA in 19 starts.

In Friday’s first game, Ranger Suarez tossed a scoreless seventh inning to earn his third save in five opportunities. The Phillies have struggled with blown saves all season and just may have found a closer in Suarez.

“I think he has a ton of confidence,” Girardi said. “The way he’s pitching, you would expect him to have a ton of confidence.”

Despite the setback in the second game, the Phillies have still won six of the last nine games. They’re definitely trending in the winning direction.

“These next two weeks are really important as we move toward the trade deadline,” Girardi said.

The Marlins’ offense has been inconsistent all season.

In the nightcap, they delivered a glimpse of their incredible potential. Jesus Aguilar had three hits, including a home run, and four RBIs, while Starling Marte had a home run, two doubles and three RBIs.

It wasn’t just their offense, however. The Marlins thrived in every way.

“I’m not a guy that’s going to sit there and get way high if we’re playing good, and I’m not going to get low when we’re not playing good,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “I still believe what I see what I know in my heart. So I just want them to hear it.”

The Marlins will turn to rookie Zach Thompson on Saturday. Thompson is 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA and has never faced the Phillies.

Thompson spent seven years in the Chicago White Sox organization before working his way to the majors with the Marlins.

“I’m on cloud nine every single day that I’m here,” Thompson said. “I’m living it to the fullest, and I just try to enjoy it every single step of the way.”

Thompson worked hard to reach this level and he has taken nothing for granted.

“If you’re not giving 100 percent, what are you doing? That’s what I’ve been trying to do for as long as I can,” he said. “And I know there’s a ton of people who can do the exact same thing.”

–Field Level Media

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