Off to a rough start to their season-high 13-game road trip, the Philadelphia Phillies hope their hottest pitcher can get them a much-needed victory.
Philadelphia opened the trip with Tuesday’s 6-4 loss to Milwaukee before falling 10-1 Wednesday—the Phillies’ most lopsided loss since falling 15-1 at Cincinnati on June 13. The skid follows a five-game win streak that included a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals last weekend.
Despite the skid, Philadelphia remains a half-game ahead of Florida in the NL wild card race.
“We got beat twice and now we’ve got to come out and win (Thursday),” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.
That task falls on Padilla, who is 4-0 with a 3.70 ERA over his last seven starts. In Friday’s 7-4 win over the Cardinals, the 25-year-old right-hander allowed four runs and nine hits over five innings, striking out four and walking two.
He hasn’t lost since a 5-4 defeat to Florida on July 5 and is 7-1 over his last 12 starts.
Milwaukee had lost four of five before winning two straight against Philadelphia. Richie Sexson hit a two-run homer and Brady Clark added a three-run shot Wednesday for the Brewers, who haven’t won three in a row since June 25-27.
STANDINGS: Phillies - 2nd place, 11 1/2 GB, NL East. Brewers - 6th place, 15 1/2 GB, NL Central.
PHILLIES PROBABLE STARTER: Padilla (11-8, 3.85 ERA). Padilla won his lone career start against the Brewers, allowing four hits over seven scoreless innings of the Phillies’ 3-1 win on Aug. 13, 2002. He struck out five and walked two.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Doug Davis (0-4, 6.29 ERA). Davis is making just his second start for the Brewers since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Indianapolis on Aug. 16. The left-handed journeyman, who also pitched for Texas and Toronto this season, didn’t receive a decision in Milwaukee’s 6-4 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday, allowing two runs and six hits over six innings. He struck out five but also walked four. He makes his first career start against the Phillies.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Phillies - Mike Lieberthal, .319 avg.; Jim Thome, 34 HRs, 96 RBIs and 82 runs; Jimmy Rollins, 16 SBs. Brewers - Scott Podsednik, .305 avg.; Sexson, 33 HRs, 89 RBIs and 75 runs; Podsednik and Eric Young, 25 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Brewers, 3-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Phillies - Philadelphia has lost 10 of its last 12 road games. … RHP Padilla is looking to become the fourth Philadelphia pitcher with 12 wins. The New York Yankees are the only team with four 12-game winners. … 1B Thome has homered in six of his last eight games. Brewers - 1B Sexson is hitting .325 (27-for-83) over his last 23 games with seven homers and 17 RBIs. … LF Geoff Jenkins, who finished 3-for-5 Wednesday with three RBIs, is hitting .322 (38-for-118) with three homers and 14 RBIs since the All-Star break. … RHP Ben Sheets, who left after one inning of Tuesday’s 6-3 victory over Philadelphia because of soreness in his right rotator cuff, may not miss his scheduled start Sunday against Pittsburgh.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Phillies - 30-30 on the road; Brewers - 23-39 at home.
INJURIES: Phillies - 3B David Bell (back), 15-day DL; RHP David Coggin (shoulder), 15-day DL. Brewers - INF Wes Helms (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Jayson Durocher (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Matt Ford (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Ruben Quevedo (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Glendon Rusch (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 60-day DL.