Phillies’ Aaron Nola hopes for run support vs. Blue Jays


Aaron Nola will try to beat the Toronto Blue Jays for the second time this season Wednesday night and allow the visiting Philadelphia Phillies to split the two-game set.

The right-hander held the Blue Jays to two runs and five hits over six innings on May 9 in an 8-4 victory in the opener of a two-game sweep by the Phillies in Philadelphia.

Nola (9-8, 4.49 ERA) is 1-2 with a 4.94 ERA in five career starts against Toronto.

He will need help from the Phillies‘ hitters, however. The Phillies have scored a total of two runs in losing their past three games, including 2-1 Tuesday night in the series opener with the Blue Jays.

“I don’t think our guys forgot how to hit,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “It’s a tough loss, but we’ve got to shake it off and come back tomorrow and get after it again.”

“We had some chances to win the game, but you can’t dwell on it,” Phillies first baseman Alec Bohm said.

Phillies shortstop Trea Turner went 0-for-3 to end a 10-game hitting streak.

Johan Rojas provided the Phillies‘ run with an RBI double in the sixth. Over his past 10 games, he is hitting .323 (10-for-31) with three doubles, one homer and seven RBIs.

What proved to be the winning run Tuesday scored in the eighth when Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez hit Cavan Biggio with a pitch with the bases loaded.

“He was just trying to go back foot and he hit him in the foot,” Thomson said. “It happens.”

The Blue Jays, who have won two in a row, are scheduled to start right-hander Kevin Gausman (9-6, 3.04 ERA) on Wednesday. He is 1-3 wtih a 3.70 ERA in eight career games (seven starts) against the Phillies.

The Blue Jays completed a run of 17 games in 17 days on Sunday and had Monday off. They were 9-8 during that stretch.

“You look back on it, it was winning baseball, it was above .500,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “When you take a step back and say, you lose your best hitter (Bo Bichette), who is leading the league in hitting, it’s tough.”

Bichette (knee) could return this weekend from the injured list after completing a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Buffalo.

“I thought we did fine,” Schneider said of the 17-game stretch. “Pitching and defense have been as consistent as anyone all year, and I think the (injured) guys are going to be coming back at the right time.”

Outfielder Daulton Varsho said he is looking forward to the days ahead.

“It was tough,” Varsho said. “It was a long stretch for us. But we have some shorter (series) with some off-days coming up. That’s probably definitely needed for our team to be healthy, finish out the season strong and make a playoff push.”

Varsho usually plays left field with stunts in center field when needed. With regular center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (lacerated arm) out, Varsho has been playing an excellent center field. Kiermaier could return Friday.

The Blue Jays reinstated closer Jordan Romano from the injured list Tuesday, and he pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to earn his 29th save of the season. The Blue Jays optioned right-hander Nate Pearson to Buffalo to make room for Romano on the roster.

Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman (inflamed finger) did not play for the second straight game.

—Field Level Media



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