Phillies, Diamondbacks set to settle series

mlb5DIAMONDBACKS (35-33) AT PHILLIES (38-29)
7:05 p.m. ET; NBCSP, FS-A, MLB.TV

Hot-hitting Scott Kingery will look to give the host Philadelphia Phillies($9) a series win when they battle the Arizona Diamondbacks($12) on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game set.

Kingery hit a three-run home run Tuesday in the Phillies’ 7-4 win following a two-homer performance Monday in Philadelphia’s 13-8 loss. Kingery is hitting .324 this season with 10 doubles, one triple, seven homers and 18 RBIs in 35 games.

Kingery remains stay hot on offense despite shifting around to different positions in the field.

“There’s still some days when things are a little off, but for the most part, it’s just about being more confident at the plate than last year,” Kingery said. “I feel like I’m getting myself into better counts and running deeper counts and getting good pitches to hit.”

The Phillies will hand the ball to Zach Eflin, who is 6-5 with a 2.88 ERA. Last Friday, Eflin was solid against the Cincinnati Reds($12) in giving up two runs (one earned) in 6 1/3 innings, including a homer. Eflin was sharp after missing his previous scheduled outing due to back tightness. He is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two career starts against Arizona.

Philadelphia allowed one home run to the Diamondbacks in their Tuesday win — a solo homer by Ketel Marte. The night before, the Diamondbacks slammed eight home runs, five against Jerad Eickhoff.

The Phillies have allowed a National League-leading 109 home runs this season. It’s a trend that must change if they want to maintain postseason aspirations.

“It’s definitely a problem,” Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler said. “It’s definitely something we have to get out in front of and figure out how to solve.”

Arizona had won five in a row before Tuesday’s loss and it will send out Merrill Kelly to the mound as its starter.

Kelly, 6-6 with a 4.12 ERA, has lasted at least seven innings and yielded exactly one run in each of his past two starts. He had a career-high 10 strikeouts against the New York Mets on June 2. Kelly has never faced the Phillies.

The 30-year-old rookie said that his confidence has steadily improved this season.

“It makes a huge difference,” Kelly said of his offense providing a lead. “Going out there with a three-run lead gives my mental state the ability to give up a home run and say, ‘So what?'”

Arizona third baseman Eduardo Escobar was 0-for-3 with an RBI on Tuesday, but he has been solid through the month of June, going 12-for-36. Escobar has 17 homers and 55 RBIs this season.

“No matter what happens in the game, we’re going to fight every at-bat,” Escobar said. “Everybody in here is going to compete every at-bat, no matter what the score.”

Escobar homered twice in the Diamondbacks’ Monday win.

“I have almost eight years in the big leagues, and this was my first time playing here in Philadelphia,” Escobar said. “It’s a good park for hitting. … I think if you make really good contact, you have a chance.”

Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed was back in the lineup Tuesday and went 1-for-3 with a run and a walk after missing the Monday game because of a sore left foot.

–Field Level Media

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