Right-hander Roy Halladay aims for another win against a memorable opponent tonight when the Philadelphia Phillies open a four-game home series with the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park.
A winner twice in three decisions against the Reds in six starts, Halladay became the first pitcher since 1956 to throw a postseason no-hitter when he blanked the Reds, 4-0, in the opening game of the 2010 playoffs.
He walked one and struck out eight in the victory, his first of two that year in the playoffs for the Phillies, who were beaten by the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
Halladay won 21 games that season and 19 games last year, but has been hampered by injury and ineffectiveness while going just 6-7 through 17 starts and 111 1/3 innings in 2012.
He defeated St. Louis, 3-1, to get to 6-6 on the season on Aug. 10, then dropped below .500 with a 9-2 loss at Miami on Aug. 15.
He's 3-3 in eight home starts this season.
Halladay is opposed by righty Mike Leake, who picked up his initial win of August in his third start of the month on Aug. 15.
He went the distance for the second time this year and allowed a run on four hits while defeating the New York Mets, 6-1.
He'd gone 0-1 in three starts since his next most recent win, a 4-2 defeat of Houston on July 24.
Leake has never faced the Phillies.
On Sunday in Cincinnati, Ryan Hanigan's hit in the bottom of the ninth brought in Xavier Paul with the deciding run as the Reds clipped the Chicago Cubs, 5-4, in the finale of a four-game set.
Paul led off the final frame against Shawn Camp (3-6) with a pinch-hit triple that landed just inside the right-field line and rolled to the wall. Hanigan followed with a deep drive well over the head of Brett Jackson in center to end the game.
"I thought he might try and jam me, to get a ground ball," Hanigan said. "But I was looking for the heater and he threw it."
It made a winner of Aroldis Chapman (5-4), who tossed a scoreless top of the ninth.
Hanigan knocked in two runs while Jay Bruce and Wilson Valdez added an RBI each for the Reds, who took three of four in the series and have won eight of 10 overall.
In Milwaukee, Kyle Kendrick tossed his second straight scoreless outing and Domonic Brown collected three hits with four RBI as the Phillies beat the Brewers, 8-0, in the finale of a four-game set.
Kendrick (6-9) scattered three hits and walked one while striking out seven over eight innings, helping him win consecutive starts for the first time since May 26-June 1.
"He did a good job. He got (Ryan) Braun out and he gets a medal for that," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "That's the most pitches he's had this year. He's more confident when he's aggressive."
Michael Martinez hit a two-run homer and Brian Schneider added a two-run double for the Phillies, who earned a split in the series with two straight wins.
The Phillies won seven of eight games between the teams in 2011 and haven't lost the season series to the Reds since 2003.