The Philadelphia Phillies are banking on veteran right-hander Kyle Gibson to continue the team's successful streak of starting pitching when they visit the Atlanta Braves in the second game of a four-game series on Tuesday.
Since April 18, Philadelphia's starting staff has combined to post a 3.36 over the past 32 games. During that span, the Phillies' starters have 173 strikeouts and only 36 walks. Zack Wheeler continued the success on Monday when he allowed two runs on eight hits and no walks with 10 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings as Philadelphia beat the Braves 7-3.
Gibson (3-2, 3.98 ERA) will be opposed by Atlanta ace Max Fried (4-2, 3.31).
Gibson will be making his ninth start of the season. In his latest outing, on Thursday against the San Diego Padres, he pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on eight hits and no walks with seven strikeouts. It was a nice bounce-back from his previous start that saw him get touched up for six runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"Got into a little bit of a pattern there (when he allowed two runs), got a little predictable," Gibson said after the San Diego game. "But I still executed quite a few pitches."
Gibson has made two career starts against the Braves, going 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA. He faced Atlanta once last year and was knocked out after giving up five runs (four earned) in 4 1/3 innings.
Fried will make his ninth start of the year. He has not earned a decision in his past two appearances, most recently on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers when he worked six innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
"We've got no choice but to regroup (after Monday's loss) and we've got a lot of faith with Max on the mound," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "That's a big key whenever I put a lineup together, if that starting pitcher does what we need him to do, that lineup will be really good."
Fried is 4-3 with a 4.01 ERA in 14 career appearances, eight starts, against the Phillies. He faced them three times in 2021 and went 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA. He beat the Phillies on Sept. 29 by pitching seven innings and allowing two runs (one earned).
The Braves continue to have trouble scoring runs, although the bright spot has been Marcell Ozuna, who went 2-for-4 on Monday and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. That equals his longest streak since he put together a 10-gamer from Aug. 15-28, 2020.
Teammate Ronald Acuna Jr. saw his 29-game on-base streak end on Monday when he went 0-for-5.
Philadelphia showed signs of breaking out of its offensive doldrums, as the seven runs were the team's highest total since May 14.
Rhys Hoskins, who knocked around a trash can in frustration on Sunday, had a three-run double to get the offense started. Hoskins has 14 RBIs in his past 14 games.
J.T. Realmuto, who had went 2-for-19 on the Phillies' just-completed homestand, had a single and a triple on Monday. Jean Segura added two hits. He has hit safely in 17 of 18 starts in May, and he is batting .357 (25-for-70) this month.
--Field Level Media
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