Jake Westbrook has an opportunity to win his fifth straight start tonight when the Cardinals resume their three-game series in Philadelphia.
The right-hander, who is coming off a Monday win against San Francisco, enters tonight's game with 11 consecutive starts of six innings or more. He has a career record of 1-1 with a 5.68 ERA in four previous starts against the Phillies. Westbrook lost to Philadelphia earlier this season and lasted a season-low 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits in a 10-9 loss.
Cliff Lee counters for the Phillies. The lefty is 1-0 over his last four starts, but is coming off a no-decision against Arizona on Sunday when he allowed eight hits and four runs over eight innings. He's 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA in five career regular season starts against the Cardinals.
Last night, Chase Utley belted the go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth inning and Roy Halladay spun eight outstanding innings in a 3-1 Phillies win.
Utley's long ball was his 196th as a Phillie, which moved him past Bobby Abreu and into ninth place on the team's all-time list. Domonic Brown ripped an RBI single and Kevin Frandsen added two hits for the Phillies, who have won four of their last six games.
Halladay (6-6) allowed one run on two hits to go with eight strikeouts and no walks. He retired the final 12 batters he faced. Jonathan Papelbon made it interesting in the ninth, but nailed down his 25th save of the season.
"This is the best he's pitched since he came back (from the disabled list)," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "His velocity was good and his arm is getting stronger."
Carlos Beltran belted a home run and Barret Browning (0-1) took the loss after allowing Utley's homer. Starter Kyle Lohse battled Halladay pitch for pitch as he lasted seven innings and yielded one run on four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. The defending World Series champs have dropped three of their last four games.
"Everything was working for him. He pitched seven solid innings. You couldn't ask for anything more," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Lohse.
The Phillies, who are 8-3 in their last 11 home games overall, took three of four games from St. Louis in their initial series of 2012, from May 24-27 at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won last year's series, 6-3.
The NL Central is the only division in which the Phillies have posted an above-.500 record against this season (16-7). The Phils have just one series loss in their seven total series against the Central in 2012 which was at Pittsburgh in the season opener, April 5-8.