Phillies at Marlins
7:10 p.m. on CSN
The Phillies are back on the road after a pathetic 2-6 homestand that left them 8 1/2 games out of first place in the NL East and 10 games under .500.
The road has been kinder to the Phils than Citizens Bank Park has. The Phillies are 18-27 at home and 18-19 away from CBP.
Here are five things you need to know ahead of Tuesday's series opener in Miami:
A.J. Burnett and Henderson Alvarez start against one another, just as they did last Wednesday in Philadelphia.
The Marlins, aided by Domonic Brown's misplay in left field, won that game 3-2.
Burnett pitched well, allowing three runs over seven innings with eight strikeouts. He's been on a roll lately, posting a 2.59 ERA over his last four starts while averaging 7.8 innings per start.
Can Phils solve Alvarez?
They sure haven't the last two times they've faced him.
Alvarez has a 1.79 ERA over his last 10 starts despite a .275 opponents' batting average. Two of those starts were against the Phils -- he pitched seven shutout innings against them on May 22 and gave up one earned run in 6 2/3 innings last Wednesday.
Alvarez induces a lot of contact. Practically all of it stays on the ground. He has a groundball rate this season of 53.8 percent, seventh-best in the National League.
Over his last 10 starts, Alvarez has induced 11 double plays and given up just one home run.
Byrd still slugging
Marlon Byrd, have a season. The Phillies' rightfielder homered twice on Sunday and is hitting .268 with 19 doubles, two triples, 15 homers and 48 RBIs.
Only three National League outfielders have more extra-base hits than Byrd: Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen and Khris Davis of the Brewers.
So it's no surprise that Byrd's name continues to come up in trade circles. He's quietly coveted by other GMs and could be the most realistically tradable asset the Phillies have.
Byrd is slugging .487 this season and playing terrific defense in right field. If this Phillies team was contending, he'd be in the All-Star Game conversation and his contributions would be much more evident to the common fan.
Regression at home
The Marlins were 20-7 at home five weeks ago, but are 5-14 at Marlins Park since then.
Everyone was trying to figure out why Miami was so unbeatable at home. The guess here was that Stanton's power made a gigantic park look small in a way that opposing teams couldn't.
That was and is still definitely a factor, but two stretches as different as those show that the early-season success in Miami was just a small sample size.
How 'bout a timely hit?
The Phillies have hit .127 with runners in scoring position over this 2-8 stretch. They were hitless in 16 at-bats with RISP in the last two games of the homestand.
Overall this season, the Phils have hit .227 with runners in scoring postition. The major-league average is .247. Only the Nationals, Astros, Cubs and Padres have been worse with men in scoring position.