The right-hander looks to stop a career-high three-start losing streak as the surging Phillies shoot for an interleague sweep of the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Traded to the Phillies in the offseason from the Atlanta Braves, the 28-year-old Millwood quickly emerged as Philadelphia’s ace with a 7-1 start and 2.84 ERA. But Millwood hasn’t won since June 8 and has dropped five of his last six decisions.
In his last three stars, including back-to-back defeats to the Braves, Millwood has allowed 17 earned runs in 15 1-3 innings.
“I don’t think it matters who it is,” he said of losing two straight to his former team. “Right now, I’m just not getting the job done.”
The Phillies have won a season-high four straight games, vaulting them into second place in the NL East, 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves.
After Philadelphia’s wild 4-2, 17-inning win in the series opener, Jim Thome homered, doubled and scored two runs as Philadelphia beat Baltimore 9-5 on Saturday before the largest crowd in the 12-year history of Camden Yards.
A win Sunday will give the Phillies their first three-game sweep of the Orioles since interleague play began in 1997. While the Phillies are a season-high nine games over .500, the Orioles are eight games below .500 for the first time this season.
The Orioles have dropped three straight and eight of their last 11.
STANDINGS: Phillies - 2nd place, 6 1/2 GB, NL East. Orioles - 4th place, 14 GB, AL East.
PHILLIES PROBABLE STARTER: Millwood (8-6, 4.07 ERA). In two career starts against Baltimore, Millwood is 1-1 with a 6.39 ERA.
ORIOLES PROBABLE STARTER: Rick Helling (5-5, 5.74 ERA). Helling is 2-1 in his last three starts, including a 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. He allowed three runs and six hits, striking out two and walking a season-high five in 5 2-3 innings. In three games against the Phillies, including two starts, Helling is 0-2 with a 6.94 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Phillies - Mike Lieberthal, .331 avg.; Thome, 19 HRs and 55 RBIs; Bobby Abreu, 50 runs; Jimmy Rollins, 9 SBs. Orioles - Melvin Mora, .357 avg. and 48 runs; Tony Batista, 14 HRs; Gibbons, 58 RBIs; Jerry Hairston, 14 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Phillies - 7-6; Orioles - 5-12.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Phillies - C Lieberthal has caught all 26 innings in this series, going 5-for-12 with two RBIs. … The Phillies have outscored opponents 29-9 during their winning streak. … The Phillies have won six straight interleague games. Orioles - DH David Segui was rested Saturday because of a sore knee, which has been bothering him since earlier this week. … The Orioles lead the all-time series with the Phillies 17-15. … RHP Willis Roberts has allowed 19 runs in his past 24 innings of relief.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Phillies - 20-18 on the road; Orioles - 17-21 at home.
INJURIES: Phillies - INF Tyler Houston (finger), 15-day DL; RHP David Coggin (shoulder), 15-day DL. Orioles - DH Segui (knee), day-to-day; INF Hairston (leg), 15-day DL; OF Larry Bigbie (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Albert Belle (hip), 60-day DL; OF Marty Cordova (elbow), 60-day DL; LHP Erik Bedard (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Erickson (shoulder), 60-day DL.