Phillies-Pirates: Five things to watch for this weekend

Sep 12, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 12, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 18, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph (19) runs the bases after hitting a two run home run during the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

After being swept by the Rangers in Texas, the Phillies have fallen to fourth place in the division ahead of only the Marlins.

The Phillies are winners of just three games this month with their last consecutive wins coming April 20-27 when they played the Braves and Marlins.

Heading into their weekend series with the Pirates, the Phils desperately need a change of fortune. They can’t afford to lose another series and fall farther and farther from .500.

Last year, the Phillies were 3-4 against the Pirates. They lost a July weekend series in Pittsburgh before splitting a four-game set in September in Philadelphia.

Here are five things to watch for as the Phils head to Pittsburgh to the face the 17-23 Pirates.

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