By Sam Bush
It’ll be Aaron Nola for the Phillies against the Tigers’ Matthew Boyd in Detroit tonight.
And they may be teammates before too long.
Nola gave up four runs, including three homers, over five innings in a 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. Nola (8-2, 3.77 ERA) hadn’t given up more than one earned run in his previous five starts. Nola is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two career starts against Detroit.
The Phillies’ cleanup hitter gave himself and the team a confidence boost on Sunday. Rhys Hoskins hit a solo homer in the 11th inning at Pittsburgh, lifting the Phils to squeak out a 2-1 win. That was his 21st homer this season but just the second in July.
“He’s had bad luck,” manager Gabe Kapler said to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But this could do a lot for him. It really could. I think the confidence level will rise from him hitting a game-winning home run for us.”
The Phillies have won five of their last eight as they fight for a wild-card berth, if not the division title. Hoskins had gone hitless in four of his previous five games before his two-hit outing Sunday, including the long ball.
“Sometimes you need a reminder that you can do it, you can still do it,” Hoskins said to the Inquirer. “I barreled a ball right at a guy early in the game. But it just doesn’t feel the same when it doesn’t get the job done. Hopefully it’s big.”
Phillies shortstop Jean Segura left Sunday’s game with a heel injury and his status for this week is questionable.
Boyd (6-8) is considered the Tigers’ best trade chip but he hasn’t enhanced his value lately. He’s given up between three and five earned runs in his last eight starts. His ERA has risen from 2.85 to 4.13 during that span.
He’s still piling up strikeouts, fanning 42 batters in his last four starts. Boyd will be facing the Phils for the first time in his career.