He’ll look to deliver a much stronger performance when the St. Louis Cardinals meet the Phillies in the finale of their three-game series at Busch Stadium.
In a 6-4 loss at Veterans Stadium last Sunday, Tomko allowed six runs and six hits in just three innings. He walked three and allowed two home runs in his second-shortest outing of the season.
“Tomko made a couple of mistakes and they nailed him,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.
The Cardinals had lost seven straight to the Phillies before rallying for a 5-3 win on Saturday. Jim Edmonds went 4-for-4, and Sterling Hitchcock pitched a scoreless inning of relief to earn the win in his first appearance with St. Louis.
The Cardinals acquired Hitchcock from the New York Yankees on Friday for two prospects. They also picked up right-hander Mike DeJean from the Milwaukee Brewers for two players to be named. DeJean allowed two runs in an inning of relief Saturday.
“It was great to have some fresh arms,” La Russa said. “We needed that.”
St. Louis has won three of its last five to pull into a tie with the Houston Astros atop the NL Central.
Philadelphia, which leads the Florida Marlins by 1 1/2 games in the NL wild-card race, fell to 1-4 on its four-city, 13-game road trip.
Jim Thome continued to punish St. Louis pitching Saturday, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. In his career, the veteran slugger is batting .472 (25-for-53) with 13 home runs and 28 RBIs against the Cardinals.
STANDINGS: Phillies - 2nd place, 12 1/2 GB, NL East. Cardinals - 1st place (tied), NL Central.
PHILLIES PROBABLE STARTER: Kevin Millwood (12-8, 3.83 ERA). Millwood was irked when Phillies manager Larry Bowa pulled him after just six innings on Tuesday, saying, “It’s probably as mad as I’ve been all year.” He allowed three runs and four hits, but did not get a decision in the Phillies’ 6-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Millwood is 2-1 with a 4.47 ERA in nine career games against the Cardinals.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Tomko (9-8, 5.70 ERA). In nine career games against the Phillies, Tomko is 2-2 with a 5.81 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Phillies - Mike Lieberthal, .319 avg.; Thome, 36 HRs, 100 RBIs and 84 runs; Bobby Abreu, 17 SBs. Cardinals - Albert Pujols, .365 avg., 34 HRs, 108 RBIs and 109 runs; Edgar Renteria, 26 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Phillies, 4-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Phillies - C Lieberthal is batting .313 (5-for-16) with a homer in his career against RHP Tomko. … The Phillies have at least one double in 21 consecutive games. … RF Abreu is batting .476 (20-for-42) during a 10-game hitting streak. Cardinals - SS Renteria is batting .571 (12-for-21) with two homers in his career against RHP Millwood. … 2B Fernando Vina will begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Memphis on Saturday. He has missed 80 games with a severe right hamstring injury. … LF Pujols is 0-for-8 in two games since his 30-game hitting streak ended.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Phillies - 31-32 on the road; Cardinals - 37-27 at home.
INJURIES: Phillies - 3B David Bell (back), 15-day DL; RHP David Coggin (shoulder), 15-day DL. Cardinals - C Joe Girardi (back), 15-day DL; C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; 2B Vina (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF J.D. Drew (oblique), 15-day DL; OF Eli Marrero (ankle), 15-day DL; LHP Lance Painter (calf), 15-day DL; RHP Russ Springer (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Kiko Calero (foot), 60-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL.