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Fading Phils try to keep hope alive vs. Indians

Fri Sep 20 12:30am ET

The Philadelphia Phillies will try to keep their fading wild-card hopes alive when they visit the Cleveland Indians this weekend.

Philadelphia plays eight of its last 11 regular-season games on the road, beginning on Friday night with the opener of a three-game series.

The Phillies still have five road games remaining against Washington and three home games against Miami.

"I don't want to say too much, but we still have a chance, for sure," outfielder Bryce Harper told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We have a big series in Cleveland this weekend and a big series with the Nats. I think we'll be OK. We'll be good."

A 5-4 loss to Atlanta on Thursday was the latest setback. The Phillies had Aaron Nola on the mound but they were defeated for the sixth straight time with their ace on the mound.

"I'm kind of shocked, actually," Harper told MLB.com. "That's about it. I had no idea. Definitely, that's tough. He goes out there and puts his heart out there every single day for us. He's our guy. Sometimes guys are going to go through stretches like that. It's just part of the game."

So are injuries, and the Phillies suffered another one on Thursday.

Shortstop Jean Segura had to depart in the sixth inning because of a cramp in his left hamstring.

"We have to evaluate him and take a look at him," manager Gabe Kapler said.

Segura is one of the team's most consistent hitters. If he's out this weekend, Scott Kingery will likely take his place.

Left-hander Drew Smyly (4-6, 6.22 ERA) will start on Friday for the Phillies. His last outing was Sept. 12, when he gave up four runs on four hits in four innings to Atlanta. In his previous start, he blanked the New York Mets for seven innings. The 30-year-old Smyly is 3-1 with a 4.14 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break.

He has faced the Indians 16 times in his career, including five starts, going 2-2 with a 4.79 ERA.

Right-hander Shane Bieber (14-7, 3.26) will get the nod for Cleveland. He endured one of his roughest outings of the season on Sunday, allowing four runs and 11 hits -- including three homers -- in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision against Minnesota.

He was sharp in his previous two September starts, lasting seven innings each time while limiting the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox to a combined three runs. He has 14 starts this season in which he's gone at least seven innings and given up two or fewer runs, second in the majors only to the New York Mets' Jacob deGrom.

Bieber will be facing Philadelphia for the first time in his career.

Cleveland is coming off a three-game sweep of Detroit.

Third baseman Jose Ramirez is unlikely to play this weekend but he's showing good progress after undergoing hand surgery in late August.

On Thursday, he took live batting practice at Progressive Field for the first time since the surgery.

"He was driving the ball left-handed and right-handed," hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo told Cleveland.com. "It's the bottom hand on his left-handed (swing) so you worry about that side. But he looked great."

--Field Level Media

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