The Philadelphia Phillies couldn’t get out of Florida fast enough.
The Phillies hope a change of scenery serves them well as they open a three-game series at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs.
Philadelphia is coming off a four-game sweep by the Florida Marlins at Pro Player Stadium. The Phillies, who have lost their last 14 games at Florida, were outscored 32-9 in the series and are now tied with the Marlins, 3 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Atlanta
“You can always find ways to reverse your fortune,” said Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, whose team doesn’t visit Florida again until Sept. 21-23. “Getting out of Florida is one way to get back on track.”
Prior to getting beaten up by the defending World Series champions, the Phillies took two of three at home from the Cubs, including a 3-2 victory on Sunday in which Eric Milton lost a no-hitter in the ninth inning. He went on to lose the shutout later in the inning, and eventually didn’t get a decision, which would have given him 12 wins this season.
The 28-year-old left-hander finished the game allowing two runs and three hits, and had a season-high 12 strikeouts over 8 2-3 innings.
“I was upset, but I’m happy we got the win,” said Milton, who pitched a no-hitter for Minnesota against Anaheim on Sept. 11, 1999.
Milton, acquired from the Twins in a trade in December, will be back on the mound Friday looking for his first decision in four starts since beating Baltimore 5-2 on July 4. The Phillies have won three of those outings, and are 16-5 in Milton’s starts.
Milton will again oppose the Cubs’ Mark Prior, who also didn’t figure in the decision on Sunday after giving up two runs and five hits over six innings. Prior was pitching for the first time since leaving a game July 15 because of a tender elbow.
“I felt really good. I threw the ball well,” said Prior, who has had injury problems this season after winning a career-high 18 games last year.
The Cubs are coming off taking three of four at Milwaukee, including Thursday’s 4-0 victory. They have won six of nine overall.
Sammy Sosa homered for Chicago, giving the All-Star right fielder five in his last nine games. Sosa is 4-for-8 in his career against Milton with two homers and four RBIs.