Friday, June 17, 2016

Lefties Ray, Morgan set to battle in opener

The D-backs and the Phillies open a four-game series in Philadelphia on Friday night with a battle of left-handed starters in Robbie Ray and Adam Morgan.
Ray (3-5, 4.57 ERA) is coming off his best start of the year for Arizona. He pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a win over the Marlins last time out, his first victory since May 16. It was only the second time in his past 10 starts that Ray lasted at least six innings.
Morgan (1-5, 6.33 ERA) had lost five straight starts until his last outing against the Nationals. He gave up three earned runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision. The lefty also set a season high with eight strikeouts.
Things to know about this game
• This is the start of a three-city, 10-game road trip with no off-days for the D-backs, who played their past nine at home. This is the last series of a six-game homestand for the Phillies after two games against the Blue Jays.
• Ray has never pitched against the Phillies and has never faced any player on their roster.
• Neither Ray nor Morgan has faced their respective opponent. No Phillies player has had a plate appearance against Ray, though Michael Bourn (0-for-2) and Jean Segura (1-for-3, RBI) previously faced Morgan on other teams.
• After Aaron Nola allowed eight runs in three-plus innings on Thursday, Phillies' starting pitchers have posted a 5.93 ERA since May 23. The D-backs offense will be a welcome sight for a team that's faced the Cubs, Nationals, Blue Jays and Tigers in 19 of their last 23 games.

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