PHILADELPHIA -- Though the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves are currently in the bottom two slots in the National League East, there's a vastly different feeling inside the two clubhouses.
An 8-2 win on Monday night was the sixth in seven games for the Phillies (38-46), who were 8-28 from May 20-June 26 thanks to a struggling offense that has suddenly woken up.
After averaging 3.11 in its first 71 games of the year, Philadelphia has scored seven-or-more runs in five of its last eight contests and is averaging exactly six runs per game over its last 13.
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"I can't complain about the hitting anymore," manager Pete Mackanin joked after Monday's win. "The hitting continues, it's great to see."
Particularly hot of late has been outfielder Peter Bourjos, who extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games with a 3-for-3 outing on Monday, raising his average to .278. It had been as low as .217 before the streak began on June 21, but since then he's 24-for-50 (.480) with 13 runs scored and six more batted in.
"Who ever thought Bourjos had a chance to hit .300 at the start of the year?" Mackanin asked. "He's on fire, it's good to see that."
The Braves (28-55), meanwhile, have lost eight of their last 11 and have the second-worst record in the majors, ahead of only Minnesota (27-55).
Interim manager Brian Snitker was searching for positives after the Phillies torched starter Joel De La Rosa for a seven-run second inning on Monday night, a 10-minute strike from which his team never recovered.
"We come back pretty good as a ballclub but that's hard to overcome when you give up that much," he said. "We'll regroup tomorrow and try to come out and win the series."
On Tuesday, the Phillies will be looking to get starter Zach Eflin his first career major league victory as the 22-year-old right-hander takes the mound for the fifth time since his June 10 callup.
After allowing nine runs in 2 2/3 innings in his debut, Eflin's only given up seven runs (five earned) in 17 2/3 innings in his last three, for a 2.55 ERA; his last time out, the Phillies won a game that he started for the first time, a 9-8 victory over Arizona that was a no-decision for Eflin.
The Braves counter with righty Mike Foltynewicz, who will make his second start since returning from the 15-day DL (bone spurs in elbow) looking to go further than he made it his last time out -- after throwing 61 pitches through three innings against the Miami Marlins on June 30, Foltynewicz's evening ended after a one-hour rain delay.
The 24-year-old, who had a 5.64 ERA over his first two years in the majors, has a 3.72 ERA in seven starts this season thanks to improving his ground ball-to-fly ball ratio and cutting down on his walks.