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Phillies tab Vargas for series finale against Reds


Jason Vargas looks to rebound from his last start against the Mets. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies (72-66) conclude their four-game series with the Reds (65-75) in a Thursday matinee set for 12:35 p.m. at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. After taking the first two games of the series, the Phils got a rare uneven start from Aaron Nola on Wednesday night. Although the Phillies’ ace stumbled, they were able to come back from a 5-0 deficit to tie the game. Unfortunately, the bullpen wasn’t able to keep the game in check and the Reds emerged victorious, 8-5.

Wednesday’s loss puts the Phillies three games behind the Cubs for the final Wild Card spot in the National League. Chicago was idle.

Jason Vargas will get the ball for the Phillies in the series finale as he looks to rebound from his worst start in red pinstripes. Last time out against his former club (the Mets), Vargas allowed five runs in four innings as part of a 6-3 loss. Vargas allowed two runs or less in three of his first four starts as a Phillie. He’s allowed a combined nine runs over his last two outings. The Reds will look to 29-year-old right-hander Sonny Gray for a series split. Gray is coming off of a month of August where he went 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA in five starts.

Here’s how the teams will lineup on Thursday:

Phillies Lineup

  1. Corey Dickerson (LF)
  2. J.T. Realmuto (C)
  3. Bryce Harper (RF)
  4. Rhys Hoskins (1B)
  5. Jean Segura (SS)
  6. Scott Kingery (3B)
  7. Cesar Hernandez (2B)
  8. Adam Haseley (CF)
  9. Jason Vargas (P)

Reds Lineup

  1. Alex Blandino (SS)
  2. Jose Iglesias (SS)
  3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
  4. Aristides Aquino (RF)
  5. Phillip Ervin (LF)
  6. Curt Casali (C)
  7. Michael Lorenzon (CF)
  8. Josh VanMeter (1B)
  9. Sonny Gray (P)

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup

  • Jason Vargas (6-7, 4.31 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray (10-6, 2.80 ERA)
  • Vargas went up against the Reds on April 30 as a member of the Mets. He pitched 5.1 innings of one-run ball, walking three and striking out five.
  • Gray earned a no-decision against the Phillies as part of a 4-3 Reds win on June 9 at Citizens Bank Park. He allowed three runs in 5.2 innings, walking three and striking out three.

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  • Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez is 5-for-10 with a home run against Jason Vargas. Meanwhile, Bruce Harper is 1-for-10 with five strikeouts against Sonny Gray.
  • Scott Kingery is hitting .315 with a double, two home runs and six RBIs over his last five games.
  • Prior to Thursday’s matinee, the Phillies recalled third baseman Maikel Franco from Triple-A. Phillies Nation’s Tim Kelly wrote about how the Phils considered waiving Franco in August.
  • Phillies No. 4 ranked prospect, Spencer Howard, dazzled in his playoff debut for Double-A Reading. The right-hander struck out a career-high 12 batters over seven innings, but Reading’s bullpen couldn’t preserve a 3-1 lead against Trenton.

Ticket IQ Programming Information

  • 12:35 p.m. on Thursday, September 5 at Great American Ballpark
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP

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