Zach Eflin has not had much success lately. The Philadelphia Phillies right-hander has a 6.92 ERA in his last three starts and his team has been on the losing end of each.
He'll try to get out of the funk on Saturday as the Phillies host the Miami Marlins. Jose Urena will be on the mound for Miami.
Eflin's season ERA has risen by more than half a run since July 9. The 24-year-old worked his way into the Phillies rotation earlier this season, but opponents have a 1.005 OPS against him over his last three outings.
Most recently, Eflin (7-3, 3.64 ERA) gave up four runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Cincinnati Reds last Sunday. Eflin, who did not give up a home run in any of his five June starts, allowed six homers in his four games last month. That included a two-run home run to the Reds' Scooter Gennett in his last start.
"I think I was one or two pitches away from being able to go deep into the game with one run, but I think I kind of gave in a little with a pitch or two here," Eflin told MLB.com after the game. "I thought I had a really good fastball today and it was probably just the secondary stuff that I didn't have my best command with."
Eflin held the Marlins to one run in six innings on May 1 in his first major league start of 2018. He is 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two career starts against Philadelphia's division rival.
The Phillies have won their last three contests, including a 5-1 triumph over the Marlins on Friday, and they have a half-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.
Urena (3-10, 4.40), meanwhile, is coming off one of his best starts of the season. He allowed just one hit and walked four over six innings while striking out five against the Washington Nationals last Sunday.
The strong start came after Urena combined to give up 10 earned runs over his last two starts (eight innings). The Marlins allowed just two hits in the game as Urena earned his third win of the season.
Urena has a 4.38 ERA and the Marlins are 4-1 in his five starts since returning from a disabled list stint (right shoulder inflammation) in late June.
"He was good from the beginning. He had good stuff today. He was aggressive. It was good to see the old Jose out there," Marlins manager Don Mattingly told reporters after Urena's last start. "(The last couple starts), he was kind of protecting, like 'I'm not quite sure if everything is OK.' We made sure everything is 100 percent OK and we want him to be aggressive."
Urena will be facing a streaking Rhys Hoskins on Saturday. The Phillies left fielder, Hoskins knocked in an RBI single in Friday's win. Hoskins has 16 RBIs in his last 14 games.