Starling Marte is on a tear and it shouldn't come as a surprise that he's hammering the lowly Philadelphia Phillies.
Marte looks to continue his hot hitting as the Pittsburgh Pirates give the ball to A.J. Burnett, who will try to send his former team to a 10th straight road defeat Sunday.
Marte is 11 for 33 with nine RBIs in eight games, and he routinely pounds the Phillies. He's hitting .385 in 78 at-bats against them for his highest average against any opponent with at least 20.
He has recorded three hits and one RBI in three consecutive matchups, including Saturday's 4-3 win that came roughly 16 hours after delivering a walkoff single in a 1-0, 13-inning victory.
The Pirates (34-27) are 21-11 since May 9 for the best record in the majors in that span.
"We didn't really just turn it on," Gerrit Cole said after becoming baseball's first 10-game winner Saturday. "We grinded through awhile of some pretty bad baseball. It wasn't like it was a one-game turnaround. It speaks to how we go about our business and you know weather the storm."
Pittsburgh will try to take six in a row at home over Philadelphia for the first time since 1993-95 behind Burnett (6-2, 2.11 ERA). The right-hander has been one of the biggest surprises in the major leagues this season after going 8-18 with a 4.59 ERA with the Phillies last year.
His first meeting with them May 12 resulted in a 7-2 victory in which he allowed two runs - one earned - in seven innings.
That was part of Burnett's six-start winning streak, during which he compiled a 2.79 ERA. However, he gave up eight earned runs in 10 2-3 innings over the last two in that stretch before bouncing back with seven innings of one-run ball in a 2-0 loss to Milwaukee on Monday.
Burnett has posted a 1.60 ERA in five home starts but is 2-2 in them, having been backed by one or no runs in three of those outings.
He'll face a Phillies team that's averaging 2.1 runs while hitting .190 with runners in scoring position during the nine-game road losing streak, its longest since an 11-gamer July 20-Aug. 11, 2013.
The rotation has posted a 6.10 ERA in the road skid and has been charged with six of the losses.
Cole Hamels (5-5, 3.19) took one Monday, surrendering five runs in six innings of a 6-4 defeat to Cincinnati. The left-hander had gone 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA in his six previous starts, which included striking out nine Pirates while allowing two runs in seven innings of a 3-2 win May 13.
He's 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in four career starts at Pittsburgh, winning the most recent July 4, 2013.
Hamels held Marte hitless in three at-bats in May.
Ben Revere continues to be a rare offensive bright spot for the Phillies (22-41), batting .381 in 10 contests. He has four hits in this series, extending his road hitting streak to 11 games with a .346 average.
He's never faced Burnett despite this being his sixth season in the majors.