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MLB: San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia PhilliesMay 3, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner (7) scores a run ahead of the tag by San Francisco Giants pitcher Jordan Hicks (12) during the fourth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Even the best teams in the majors go through slumps.

The Philadelphia Phillies still own the best record in the National League, but they have dropped five of their past seven games as they return home to open a three-game series with the San Diego Padres on Monday.

After falling to the New York Mets on June 9 in the finale of a two-game series in London, the Phillies returned stateside for a six-game road trip. Philadelphia lost two of three games to both the Red Sox and Orioles, with Sunday’s 8-3 loss to Baltimore getting particularly ugly.

The Phillies went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base, and they also lost manager Rob Thomson in the sixth, as he was ejected by plate umpire Mike Estabrook.

But Philadelphia could be getting some extra help on Monday, as shortstop Trea Turner is expected to be activated from the 10-day injured list. Turner hasn’t played since May 3 due to a left hamstring strain. He has hit .343 with two homers and nine RBIs through 33 games this season.

Thomson said it will be “hard to tell” how Turner will respond to the absence.

“He goes to the World Baseball Classic last year without basically any at-bats, and he kills it,” Thomson said. “So, I don’t know. I don’t know what to expect, really.”

The Phillies will hand the ball to left-hander Cristopher Sanchez (3-3, 3.07 ERA) on Monday. In his latest outing, Sanchez took a no-decision against Boston on Wednesday after giving up four runs on seven hits in four-plus innings.

“He wasn’t mixing his pitches,” Thomson said of Sanchez after the start vs. the Red Sox. “He was behind in the count. His command was off a little bit, velo was there. … Could be just one of those nights. He’ll be back out there.”

Sanchez was tagged with the loss in his only previous start against San Diego, giving up three runs and three hits in five innings on July 14, 2023.

The Padres are looking to rebound after being swept by the New York Mets in a three-game series. San Diego was outscored 18-8, with Sunday’s 11-6 loss accounting for a good portion of that run differential.

Padres third baseman Manny Machado and manager Mike Shildt were both ejected in the sixth. San Diego did finish with 10 hits, but it left eight men on base.

“We’ve got to start to marry our hitting and our pitching more consistently,” Shildt said.

Next stop, Philadelphia.

“We haven’t had the results we want at the end of the day on the scoreboard,” Shildt said. “That can add up as well. So yeah, there’s some frustration there.”

Right-hander Randy Vasquez (1-3, 4.93) is expected to start for the Padres in the series opener.

Vasquez most recently yielded one run on seven hits in five innings against the Oakland Athletics last Tuesday. He did not factor into the decision, and the lone run he gave up came on a solo shot from Abraham Toro on the first pitch of the game.

“I can attribute that to just being a little bit overconfident and (starting) the game a little bit amped up,” Vasquez said. “Things happen. But I’ve been working on settling down, getting in my groove and just being able to execute my pitches as the game goes along. And good results have come.”

Monday marks Vasquez’s first appearance against the Phillies.

–Field Level Media

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