MLB

Marlins-Phillies preview

PHILADELPHIA -- Jeremy Hellickson pitches against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.

The Philadelphia Phillies right-hander might very well be pitching for the Marlins in the near future.

Hellickson (6-7, 4.03 ERA) continues to be the subject of trade speculation, with the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline approaching. MLB.com Marlins writer Joe Frisaro tweeted Monday that Miami is one of the teams that has expressed an interest in the veteran righty, who faces left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (5-3, 4.90) on Wednesday.

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Hellickson, 29, has been hearing the scuttlebutt for a while now.

"Yeah, it's on my mind," he admitted after losing to the Mets last Friday, "just when I see it on Twitter and talk to you (media) guys about it. Other than that, I'm focused every day on doing what I have to do for the next start. Like I've said all along, I love it here and would love to be here the rest of the year, but obviously I've been through it before and know that side of the game. My focus is here and on my next start right now."

Hellickson, who gave up four runs over six innings in that loss to New York, was 2-0 with 1.50 ERA in his three previous starts. He is 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA in six career outings against Miami.

The Marlins, 51-42 and owners of a one-game lead in the race for the National League's second wild-card berth, are looking to solidify their rotation behind All-Star right-hander Jose Fernandez.

Chen, who went 46-32 in four years with the Baltimore Orioles, has had his ups and downs after signing with the Marlins as a free agent in January.

He took a no-decision in his last start, at St. Louis, allowing four runs on six hits in six innings, and he has yielded at least four earned runs in five of his last seven outings. Chen is 2-1 in that stretch despite a 6.00 ERA.

He is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in three career starts against Philadelphia.

The Marlins have won seven of their past eight games, taking each of the first two games in this four-game series against the Phillies in extra innings. Christian Yelich drove in the winning run Tuesday in a 2-1 victory with a 10th-inning single off reliever Daniel Stumpf.

"To be a good team, you have to win those close ones, games like tonight and last night," Yelich said Tuesday. "We know we're going to have to continue to do that in the second half if we want to go where we think we're headed. It's a good start. You just have to build on it."

Tommy Joseph hit his second homer in as many nights for Philadelphia, which lost for the fourth time in five games.

The Phillies managed just five hits Tuesday, and over their past three games (all losses), they have generated three runs and 10 hits while striking out 34 times. They fanned 11 times against five Marlins pitchers Tuesday.

"We're in that hitting funk again," manager Pete Mackanin said. "We're just not swinging the bats. Too many bad at-bats. We're not grinding out at-bats, and we need to do that. ... Too many called third strikes with men in scoring position. That's a pet peeve of mine, and we're going to address that."

He plans to do that in a team meeting.