With a series win already in tow, the Philadelphia Phillies set their sights on a sweep of the Miami Marlins when the two NL East inhabitants wrap up a three-game set this afternoon.
The Phillies have posted shutouts in each of the first two games of this set, recording a 4-0 win on Monday and a 1-0 triumph last night. Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a solo homer and that's all starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick would need. Kendrick struck out six over seven shutout innings, Josh Lindblom tossed a scoreless eighth and Jonathan Papelbon nailed down his 26th save in the ninth inning.
"He had good tempo, rhythm," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Kendrick. "He got the ball, he got set, he kept the flow of the game going."
Philadelphia has won three straight and seven of 10 games, and posted its ninth shutout win of the season. It is 9-5 in shutouts this season. After today's game the Phillies will resume their seven-game road trip with a four- game set in Milwaukee.
Taking the mound at Marlins Park tonight for the Phillies will be Roy Halladay. The right-hander, who is six wins shy of 200, has won back-to-back starts and is coming off a 3-1 win over St. Louis on Friday. He allowed one run in eight innings of work and struck out eight, improving to 6-6 with a 3.80 earned run average in 16 starts.
Halladay defeated the Marlins back on April 11 and held them to a run in seven innings of a 7-1 victory. In 11 career starts against them, Halladay is 5-3 with a 2.40 ERA.
Miami will try to salvage the finale of this set and has lost 11 of its last 16 games. Josh Johnson was the hard-luck loser for the Marlins last night and was victimized by Rollins' first-inning home run. Johnson fanned seven batters and allowed three hits to fall to 7-9 on the season.
"I just got to go out there and do my job," Johnson said. "My job is to put up a zero and I put up one, so it's my fault."
The Marlins were shut out for the third straight game and for the 13th time in 2012. Jose Reyes had a hit and catcher Rob Brantly went 0-for-3 in his major league debut.
Miami will hit the road for 11 games against the Rockies, Diamondbacks and Dodgers following today's series finale. It hasn't scored in 27 innings.
Toeing the rubber for the Fish Wednesday will be veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle. He is 0-3 in his last five starts since a personal four-game winning streak and previously took the hill in Friday's 5-2 loss versus the Dodgers. He allowed four runs and seven hits for a second straight start in six innings to fall to 9-11 in 23 outings to go along with a 3.80 earned run average.
Buehrle is 1-2 in three starts against the Phillies this season and 4-2 with a 4.76 ERA in six career meetings -- all starts -- with Philadelphia. The southpaw hopes to post double-digit wins for a 12th straight season.
Miami had won five in a row in this series until Monday's loss, but is still 6-5 against the Phillies this season.