PHILADELPHIA — Rhys Hoskins took a rain check on going deep.
Hoskins’ thunderous bat got the day off at a cold and damp Citizens Bank Park when Tuesday night’s game between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies was postponed.
Hoskins has been an August sensation for a Phillies team long out of the pennant race. Hoskins has a 10-game hitting streak (.395, 15 for 38) and has an RBI in six straight games. His 25 RBIs in August are the most by a Phillies rookie in a month since Willie Montanez had 29 in June 1971.
Hoskins failed to homer Monday night, ending his streak at five straight games. But he is the fastest ever to reach 11 home runs, doing it in 18 games and 64 at-bats.
“Hoskins has made a big impression,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Tuesday.
Yeah, just a bit.
He has two chances to end August with the best month by a rookie in team history. The Braves and Phillies will play a single-admission doubleheader on Wednesday. The first game will start at 12:05 p.m. EDT and all gates will open at 11:05 a.m.
The Phillies, winners of two straight, have the worst record in baseball. The Braves have lost three in a row and seven of 10.
Philadelphia sends Jerad Eickhoff to the mound against R.A. Dickey in the opener. Mark Leiter gets the start against Atlanta’s Julio Teheran in the second game.
It could be a long final month of the season for the Phillies, who could be on their way to 95 losses again. But there are positive signs through the gloomy nights.
Yes, it’s early, but Hoskins could anchor the lineup next season and shortstop Freddy Galvis and All-Star center fielder Odubel Herrera look like key players for the rebuild. Aaron Nola has pitched like a future All-Star in stretches.
Other Phillies of note:
—Third baseman Maikel Franco continues to regress (.225 in 126 games) and could be on the way out if the Phillies use top infield prospect J.P. Crawford there next season.
“We don’t want to give up on him because he didn’t have the greatest year,” Mackanin said.
—Hector Neris has been solid with 16 saves, but may not be the long-term answer at closer.
“I’m not ready to call him the closer,” Mackanin said. “I like him. He’s definitely a keeper.”
—Pitchers Adam Morgan, Hoby Milner and Leiter all earned praise from Mackanin for taking a step forward on the pitching staff this season.
The Phillies likely won’t contend in 2018, but they should be better.
“I’m tired of taking lumps,” Mackanin said. “It’s not fun. It’s hard every day. You keep telling yourself to look for positives or signs that we can improve next years. I don’t find any solace in the fact that, well, we’re rebuilding. I’m patient enough to know that we are. I’m just anxious to move forward.”
The Braves have taken a beating since they were .500 (45-45) on July 16, going an MLB-worst 12-27. The Phillies have gone 12-2 against the Braves this season and won all eight games at Citizens Bank Park.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said after Monday’s 6-1 loss that he was out of answers as to why his team has struggled against the Phillies.
“If I had that message I’d have probably said it to them two or three months ago,” he said. “I don’t know, it’s just one of them things. We’ve just go to come out and keep grinding.”
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball