The Philadelphia Phillies cannot afford many more losses if they plan on staying in the NL wild-card race.
They’ll try to improve their slim playoff hopes when they meet the Cincinnati Reds in the middle game of their series at Great American Ball Park.
The Phillies had won a season-high six straight games before falling to the Reds 4-3 on Monday. Philadelphia is five games behind San Francisco in the wild-card race, but also trails four other teams.
“We’re a longshot,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. “We’ve just got to keep winning. We have to win six out of seven again. Those guys are out there grinding it out.”
The Phillies, who are 6-2 on their 10-game road trip, now hope to get another strong start from Cory Lidle.
After pitching back-to-back shutouts, the 32-year-old right-hander allowed four runs and eight hits over five innings Thursday, but did not get a decision in the Phillies’ 9-4 win over Atlanta.
The Reds have won three of four following a stretch in which they dropped 12 of 15.
“All we’re doing is playing for next year, but we’re going to play teams in the hunt,” LaRue said. “We’re not in the playoff race, but we still have to play hard. We can be spoilers.”