PHILADELPHIA -- The hot-swinging Philadelphia Phillies will go for a sweep of division rival Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night, fresh off an impressive power display on Tuesday.
Five home runs paved the way to a 5-1 win in the middle game of the three-game series, one day after a seven-run second inning led to an 8-2 victory in Monday's opener.
"It was nice to see," manager Pete Mackanin said. "Guys are still swinging the bats pretty well. ... We took advantage of some pitches up in the zone."
Now, the Phillies (39-46) will take on a rookie pitcher making his first career MLB start in Tyrell Jenkins, who enters with an 0-1 record and a 5.79 ERA in 9 1/3 innings of work at the major league level this season.
In the minors, Jenkins started 92 out of his 97 appearances, with a 32-27 record and 3.75 era. In parts of two years at Triple-A Gwinnett between 2015-16, he was 9-7 with a 3.18 ERA in 23 games (18 starts). He last pitched on July 3, giving up two runs (both earned) in two innings of a 5-2 loss to Miami.
"I don't have any predetermined parameters for him," Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. "Somebody's got to start that game tomorrow, and he's been stretched out as a starter all spring and all summer. He hasn't lately, so we'll just kind of monitor him. He might get tired, I don't know when -- three innings, four innings -- if he can go five innings, that would be great."
Snitker has tried to keep the level of positivity as high as possible for an Atlanta squad that, at 28-56, is only one game ahead of Minnesota for word record in the major leagues. The loss to the Phillies on Tuesday night made it three in a row and seven of nine for a club that saw manager Fredi Gonzalez fired in May after a 9-28 start.
"It's hard, you've got to have a lot of patience and it's not easy," Snitker said. "It's something that has to be done with young guys, I think, and we just have got to stay as positive as we can with it, because it is a learning experience every time and these guys are going to grow and they're going to get better."
The Phillies will counter with seven-year veteran Jeremy Hellickson, facing Atlanta for the first time in his career. He'll be looking to win three straight starts for the first time this year, and has been throwing some of his best stuff of late.
Over his last three starts, Hellickson is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA, giving up six runs (five earned) in 19 innings, striking out 15 against just two walks.
He'll look to continue the momentum in a clubhouse that's won three straight and seven of eight to move within seven games of a wild-card slot in the National League.
"There's a bunch of chemistry in this locker room," said rookie starter Zach Eflin, who went the distance in picking up his first career win Tuesday night. "It's a really cool thing to be a part of."