|D-backs face Phillies with series streak on the line|
The Arizona Diamondbacks lost their Philadelphia winning streak Wednesday night. They will try to keep a different streak alive Thursday afternoon against the Phillies.
The Diamondbacks have won seven straight series to start the 2018 season, and need a win in the finale to keep that streak alive.
Arizona's eight-game winning streak at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park came to a close Wednesday night with the team's first loss in the City of Brotherly Love since May 17, 2015.
Arizona will turn to right-hander Matt Koch on Thursday. Koch, 27, will be making his second start of 2018. He was called up after Taijuan Walker was ruled out for the season with an ulnar collateral ligament tear.
Koch (0-0, 1.13 ERA) has made 10 appearances and three starts in his major league career, and he turned in six solid innings against the Padres on Friday. He gave up only one run on two hits and two walks while striking out four in a game in which the Diamondbacks mustered just one hit in a 4-1 loss.
"He attacked the zone and did a great job," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo told MLB.com. "On another day, we're talking about how good his outing is, and we score runs and swing the bats the way we're normally capable of, but unfortunately it's a different story tonight."
Koch, who has never faced the Phillies, will be matching up with right-hander Ben Lively. A second-year major leaguer, Lively (0-1, 4.64 ERA) is coming off his best start of 2018. He gave up only one run as he worked around five hits and three walks in a six-inning outing against the Pirates on Friday.
The Phillies won that game 2-1 but Lively did not get a decision.
Lively's last start marked the first time in four starts this season that he pitched six innings, and it was also the first time he gave up fewer than six hits. The 26-year-old faced the Diamondbacks twice last season, going 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in those showings.
Lively had a quality start in his first outing against Arizona, getting six strikeouts in six innings while allowing three runs on eight hits.
Lively will try to continue a strong homestand for the Phillies. They have won five of their first six during a 10-game stretch at Citizens Bank Park and are 10-2 at home this season.
Outfielder Aaron Altherr has been a big part of the Phillies success on this homestand. Altherr is 6-for-14 in his last four games after getting four hits in his first 44 at-bats of the season.
Altherr had a walk-off RBI single against the Pirates on Sunday and his three-run homer against Zack Greinke was the difference in Wednesday's win over the Diamondbacks.
"I'm not doing anything too different from what I've been doing," Altherr told NBC Sports Philadelphia after the win that pushed the Phillies to 15-8 on the season. "That's the way baseball works out. Hopefully I start catching fire here. Just trying to stay relaxed at the plate, see the ball and put good swings on it. I'm starting to find some holes now."