(SportsNetwork.com) - Casey McGehee hasn't had much of an issue reaching base recently and will try to lead the Miami Marlins to a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday night.
McGehee has reached base safely in 26 consecutive games, which is the longest active streak in the National League, and is batting .363 with seven doubles, 13 RBI and 37 total hits in that span. The infielder is riding a nine-game hitting streak and went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored in Wednesday's 5-0 win over the Phillies.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run homer and Ed Lucas finished with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. The support made a winner out of Tom Koehler and he struck out seven across six scoreless innings of three-hit ball. He went on the paternity list after the game to be with his wife as they await the birth of their first child.
"We're excited about that," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond, "and that he got a big win on a big day."
Miami has won back-to-back games following a four-game slide and will begin a nine-game road trip Friday versus St. Louis, Arizona and the New York Mets.
The Marlins sit 5 1/2 games off the NL East lead.
Taking the mound for Miami Thursday will be Brad Hand. Hand had been on the disabled list since late May because of an ankle injury and was last in action May 23 in a 9-5 loss to Milwaukee. He tossed two innings in that one and gave up a home run. Hand got some work in at the minor league level and the lefty is 0-1 with a 6.38 ERA in 16 games (2 starts) this season.
Hand is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in four career games (2 starts) against the Phillies. The Marlins have lost each of his past seven appearances.
Philadelphia tends to play better on the road than at home, but has lost the first two portions of this Miami series. Cole Hamels was saddled with the loss for the Phils last night and lasted five innings, charged with three runs and five hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
"I wasn't really able to get command of the fastball," said Hamels, who had pitched at least seven innings in his previous 10 outings.
Jimmy Rollins and Ben Revere had two hits apiece in the loss, the sixth in a row and 10th in the past 12 tries for the Phillies. Philadelphia will visit Pittsburgh next on this 10-game, three-city road trip (0-2) and has dropped four straight as the visitor.
The Phillies are a season-high 12 games under .500 and have lost 17 of their last 23 games against teams from the NL East.
Kyle Kendrick will try to salvage the finale of this series when he takes the mound for the Phillies Thursday. Kendrick has lost two straight and three of five starts, and allowed four runs in eight innings of a 4-2 loss to Atlanta last Friday. He did manage to strike out eight batters and settled down after some early struggles.
Kendrick is 3-8 with a 4.22 earned run average and the Phils are only 3-6 in the right-hander's last nine trips to the mound. Kendrick, who is just 1-4 in eight road starts, has fared well in his career against the Marlins, going 12-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 23 games (18 starts).
He is, however, 0-1 in two matchups with Miami this season and was hammered by the Marlins on May 21, when he surrendered six runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 14-5 blowout in south Florida.
The Phillies and Marlins have split six games this season. The Marlins are 91-84 all-time at home in this NL East rivalry.