After struggling to get much done at the plate in recent weeks, the Philadelphia Phillies woke up their slumbering bats just in time to cool off the Miami Marlins.
They might not need much scoring with red-hot Aaron Nola on the mound.
The right-hander looks to extend his 20-inning scoreless streak in Sunday's finale when the Phillies try to clinch their fourth road series victory in their last five.
Philadelphia has batted .220 while failing to score more than four runs in any contest during an 8-4 stretch that included a six-game winning streak. It looked like more of the same Saturday when the club had one run and two hits through seven innings.
However, Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez had RBI singles and Maikel Franco hit what appeared to be an inning-ending double play before Miami's Chris Johnson dropped the throw at first and Herrera scored to put the Phillies (17-14) ahead.
"Just dropped it," Johnson said. "Just messed up and lost the game for us."
After going 3 for 25 over his previous eight games, Hernandez had two of the team's five hits in the 4-3 win that snapped a three-game skid. Herrera is hitting .385 lifetime versus Miami (16-13) and has reached base safely in nine straight meetings.
The Phillies might not need a ton of offense as they chase their third win through seven on a 10-game trip. That's because Nola has been nearly unhittable since allowing three walks, seven hits and seven runs in an 8-1 loss to Washington on April 16.
In his last three starts, Nola (2-2, 2.93 ERA) has gone 2-0 while allowing four walks, eight hits and one run over 21 innings. He threw 76 of 111 pitches for strikes Tuesday when he gave up two hits over seven innings in a 1-0 win at Busch Stadium.
"He can paint the fastball on both sides of the plate, keep hitters guessing one side or the other," manager Pete Mackanin told MLB's official website. "You can't sit on one side of the plate because he's so good at locating both sides of the plate."
The 22-year-old was also spectacular in his only career start versus Miami. He surrendered three hits over a career-high eight innings in a 2-0 road win Aug. 23.
Marcell Ozuna hasn't fared well in the matchups, going 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. Ozuna, though, is batting .400 with four homers over a seven-game hitting streak.
Ozuna and Justin Bour homered and Adeiny Hechavarria and Christian Yelich had two hits apiece in Saturday's loss that snapped Miami's four-game winning streak.
Yelich is batting .350 with three homers and seven RBIs over his last five games.
"Coming in and knowing this (Miami) team is as hot as anybody in baseball, the way they swung the bat (in Friday's 6-4 series-opening victory) it was a little daunting to win (Saturday)," Mackanin said.
Justin Nicolino (2-0, 2.70) will make his third start since replacing an ineffective Jarred Cosart in the rotation. After pitching well against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his debut, he allowed four runs over six innings in Tuesday's 7-4 win over Arizona.
Nicolino went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two meetings with Philadelphia in 2015. He'll try to help the Marlins avoid their first back-to-back losses since April 22 and 23.