Nick Pivetta, Red Sox attempt to slow red-hot Phillies

Wed Jun 12 7:50am ET
Field Level Media

The National League-leading Philadelphia Phillies will look to continue their winning ways when they resume a three-game series against the host Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.

Philadelphia got two leadoff home runs from Kyle Schwarber and seven strong innings from Zack Wheeler to open the series with a 4-1 win Tuesday.

It was an important performance for the Phillies, who announced before the game game that catcher J.T. Realmuto will miss approximately a month due to an upcoming surgery to remove cartilage in his right knee.

Bryson Stott also recorded a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a double. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games.

"Every time somebody goes down, somebody steps up," Phillies manager Rob Thomson said before the series began. "And I'm expecting the same thing this time."

The Phillies' 10-game advantage in the NL East is the largest lead in baseball. Philadelphia has won eight of its past 10 games.

Boston right-hander Nick Pivetta (3-4, 3.40 ERA) has nine strikeouts in consecutive starts. He spun a gem against Atlanta last Wednesday to break a two-start losing streak, surrendering just one hit and two walks across seven scoreless innings in Boston's 9-0 victory.

It was Pivetta's second scoreless start and his fifth start with at least eight strikeouts this season.

"His last two (outings) have been solid, and he's been able to use everything," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "I think he was a little bit hesitant when he came off the IL (in early May); that's normal. Now it's just a full-go and you see the WHIP, it's below 1. When you do that, you're going to be successful."

Pivetta has made just one career start against Philadelphia. He allowed five runs (four earned) over four innings in a 5-4 loss on July 11, 2021, which the Phillies' most recent game at Fenway Park before before Tuesday.

The Red Sox hope to take a step up on defense as they battle one of baseball's best teams, having made two crucial errors in the series opener. One by first baseman Dominic Smith led to two go-ahead runs.

The Phillies will turn to left-hander Cristopher Sanchez (3-3, 2.71 ERA) on Wednesday as he looks to continue a streak of four starts of allowing two runs or less.

Sanchez did not factor into the decision in his team's 2-1, 10-inning victory June 4 against Milwaukee despite dealing six innings of one-run, four-hit ball. He induced 11 ground-ball outs in that outing.

The Phillies have won five of Sanchez's last six outings.

"I always try to follow the other pitchers in the rotation: Ranger (Suarez), (Aaron) Nola, (Zack Wheeler) and Taijuan (Walker)," Sanchez said recently. "They're veterans, and I always try to watch their bullpens to see if I can pick up something."

Wheeler has won eight consecutive decisions following Tuesday's game, setting a career high.

Sanchez, 27, has never started against the Red Sox, but he earned a victory during the 2021 series after allowing one run over three innings of relief.

PHI LogoPhiladelphia Phillies
BOS LogoBoston Red Sox

Wed Jun 12 7:10pm ET