The Guardians won the first two games of the series and four of five overall to move their record to 49-49
Cleveland was over .500 on July 8 — the first time it reached that mark since mid-April — but lost the next day and hasn’t climbed back over the hump since.
The Guardians are making their most recent run without right-hander Shane Bieber, the 2020 American League Cy Young winner who was placed on the 15-day injured list on July 15 because of inflammation in his throwing elbow
Bieber, who went 0-3 with a 5.22 ERA in his five outings before going on the injured list, likely would have been the starter on Sunday. Instead, Xzavion Curry will fill his spot for the second straight time.
Curry (3-0, 2.86 ERA) allowed one hit in three innings of Cleveland’s 11-0 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. It was his first start this season following 24 relief appearances.
Starting is nothing new to Curry, however.
He started 40 of his 44 games while in the minors the past two seasons and made two more starts in his only appearances for the Guardians last season
“I wouldn’t say it’s been difficult,” Curry said of his spot starts. “I would say it’s been an adjustment, just preparing my body to be ready to come in in situations and not have the same amount of time as a starter.”
Curry said the key is to be efficient.
“Just go out there and eat up innings without letting them score any runs,” he said.
The Phillies will try to end their four-game losing skid behind veteran right-hander Aaron Nola
Nola (9-6, 4.27) has won three of his past four starts.
He most recently allowed three runs (two earned) and four hits in 7 1/3 innings of a 4-3 win against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.
Nola retired the first 14 batters he faced.
“He threw a ton of strikes, which is something he does,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He throws strikes in a good part of the zone for him — on the edge of the zone. We didn’t get ahead [in] many counts. That’s what he’s good at. He did a nice job sprinkling in more offspeed tonight, I thought. His offspeed was strikes.”
Nola has never faced Cleveland in his career.
The Phillies will try to provide some offense for Nola after coming up empty for Zack Wheeler
Wheeler held the Guardians to one run and five hits in seven innings, but his counterpart, Tanner Bibee, blanked Philadelphia on two hits over seven innings
The top five hitters for the Phillies — Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, Trea Turner, Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto — combined to go 1-for-17 on Saturday
“They’ve got to come out of it. They’ve got to hit,” Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said. “Those five guys got to hit, and that’s where we’re at.”
–Field Level Media
Original source here
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