Although their recent offensive surge came to a halt in losing their last two games, the Philadelphia Phillies appear to have a good chance to get back on track against an NL East rival they've dominated at home.
The Phillies seek their 10th win in 14 games as they look to improve to 27-8 at home against the Miami Marlins in the opener of a four-game series Monday night.Philadelphia (34-40) totaled 31 runs and five homers during a season-high five-game winning streak before scoring four times with two extra-base hits in back-to-back defeats at St. Louis this weekend.Ryan Howard went 10 for 29 with three home runs and nine RBIs on the 5-2 road trip. Howard and Cody Asche had four of the team's five hits in Sunday's 5-3 loss."I wish we could have taken the last two games and completed the perfect road trip," Asche said. "But we've got some confidence."Jimmy Rollins went 0 for 4 to end his 15-game hitting streak, but he's batted .375 with two home runs in his last 12 games against the Marlins (37-38). Rollins is 8 for 21 (.381) with a homer and two doubles against Miami's Nathan Eovaldi (4-3, 3.76 ERA).Since going 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in a four-start stretch, Eovaldi has allowed 11 runs and 19 hits in 10 2/3 innings of his last two.The right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.46 ERA in three career outings in Philadelphia. He surrendered four runs in 6 1/3 innings of a 5-4, 10-inning loss there April 12.The Phillies went on to sweep that three-game set to extend their home mastery of the Marlins.Tony Gwynn Jr. (4 for 6) and Chase Utley (3 for 6) have fared well against Eovaldi this season. Utley has batted .417 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in his past 12 games versus Miami.Philadelphia's Roberto Hernandez (3-5, 4.52) allowed five runs and five walks over six innings Wednesday, but received nine runs of support in a 10-5 victory at Atlanta.The right-hander is looking to turn it around after going 1/3 with a 6.43 ERA in his last four starts. He's 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA in two career starts against the Marlins.Miami has been reeling offensively, totaling nine runs while dropping four of five. Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna had four of the team's eight hits in an 11-5 loss to the visiting New York Mets on Sunday."You just have to keeping grinding and stay positive," said first baseman Garrett Jones after the Marlins fell below .500 for the first time since April 30. "It's a long season. Every team runs into this type of thing where the offense isn't clicking and the pitching isn't clicking."Jones has gone 1 for 22 with seven strikeouts in his last seven games, though he's 7 for 12 with a homer and five RBIs in his last four meetings with the Phillies.Miami's infield took a big hit over the weekend with Rafael Furcal going back on the disabled list after re-injuring his hamstring Saturday. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria might be able to return after missing the past two contests due to elbow soreness.
Since the start of 2012, Ryan Howard is hitting .169 in at-bats ending with a pitch of at least 95 MPH. League average among qualified hitters over that time is .252. Nathan Eovaldi's average fastball velocity this season is 95.7 MPH.