Phils hope to break the brooms out on Astros
(SportsNetwork.com) - Looking for their offense to stay hot, the Philadelphia Phillies take aim at a three-game sweep of the visiting Houston Astros on Thursday night.
The Phillies had been held to just two runs over their previous four games, picking up a pair of 2-1 victories around a shutout loss, before breaking out with 12 hits in last night's 10-3 win. It came one game after they outlasted the Astros in 15 innings.
Chase Utley hit a three-run homer and Ryan Howard notched a pair of doubles and drove in two runs as Philadelphia claimed back-to-back series at home for the first time since September, 2013.
David Buchanan picked up the win with five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings of work. He scattered nine hits and let in three runs while also getting his first career hit, an RBI single during a five-run first inning for the Phillies.
"We had some good early offense with five runs in the first inning," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. "Then Buchanan went out and threw a lot of strikes with the lead. He was able to scatter some hits and he did a good job with some men on base."
Jose Altuve knocked in a run, singled twice and grabbed a stolen base for the Astros, who were looking for revenge after having their three-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday.
Brad Peacock was lit up for eight runs on seven hits and four walks in just five innings. One of the five runs he allowed in the first inning came on a wild pitch.
"You look at that first inning, I think it's one of things where he missed a few spots," Astros manager Bo Porter said of Peacock. "Those guys did a good job putting good swings on it."
Roberto Hernandez is coming off a pretty impressive four-start stretch, one he'll try to keep going tonight for the Phillies.
The right-hander is 3-0 in his last four with a 1.88 earned run average while hurling at least seven innings three times. In a 2-1 win over Washington on Friday, Hernandez yielded one unearned run over eight innings.
"There were some hard-hit balls, some good plays behind [Hernandez], good positioning," Sandberg said on Philadelphia's website. "But he was aggressive in the strike zone and stayed ahead of the hitters."
Hernandez, 33, is 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA on the season and 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two previous starts versus the Astros.
The Astros turn to righty Collin McHugh, who carried a six-start losing streak into a no-decision versus Toronto on Friday. It was his second outing since missing three weeks due to injury.
McHugh pitched well enough to win, scattering a run, five hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings. He also fanned five in his club's eventual 3-1 win.
The 27-year-old is 4-9 with a 3.32 ERA on the year, posting a 1.96 ERA in seven starts on the road.
McHugh will face the Phillies for the first time as a starter, but has make one previous relief appearance against them.
This series marks the first time the Phillies and Astros have faced each other since splitting six meetings during the 2012 season, the Astros' final year as a member of the National League.
08/07 10:54:45 ET