Kyle Kendrick tries to bounce back from one of the worst starts of his career today when the Philadelphia Phillies continue their four- game series against the Chicago Cubs.
Kendrick was shelled for 11 hits and seven runs over three-plus innings of a 9-5 loss at Arizona on Monday. It was the right-hander's first start in five appearances this season. Kendrick has faced the Cubs twice in his career, starting once, but has yet to allow a run over four combined innings.
Matt Garza counters on the hill for Chicago. The righty didn't get a decision over a seven-inning start against St. Louis on Monday. He has limited hitters to a .204 batting average this season and is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in three lifetime games vs. the Phillies.
The Cubs need to win the final two games of this set if they're to come out on top in a series in Philadelphia for the first time since April 6-8, 2001.
Last night, Joe Blanton pitched into the eighth inning to help the Phillies take a 5-2 victory.
Blanton gave up two runs on eight hits and didn't issue a walk while striking out eight over 7 1/3 frames. Carlos Ruiz went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and three RBI while Jimmy Rollins had a two-run double to help the Phillies win for the third time in the past four games.
"I just tried to stay focused with what I was doing," said Blanton. "I just tired to keep it there and help us keep the lead."
Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair each drove in a run for the Cubs, who had won three of four coming in. Randy Wells, making the start in place of an injured Ryan Dempster, gave up four runs on three hits and four walks over just 3 2/3 innings to take the loss.
"He was pitching pretty well, but then couldn't find the strike zone," Chicago manager Dale Sveum said of Wells in the fourth inning when the Phillies scored four times. "It was too bad because things were looking pretty good going into that inning."
A couple of moderate batting streaks are alive going into today's game - Philadelphia's Ty Wigginton with a 13-game run and LaHair with a flurry of reaching safely in 17 straight contests.
Since 2002, the Phils are 21-11 vs. the Cubs at home (8-0-2 in series).