The Philadelphia Phillies also hope there’s no place like the road.
Coming off an incredible 12-1 homestand, the league’s hottest team will look to keep things rolling away from Citizens Bank Park when they open an interleague series in Seattle against the Mariners.
The Phillies have won 15 of their last 17 games, and are 20-6 since May 15, the best record in the majors in that span. Their surge has moved them within 1 1/2 games of first-place Washington in the NL East.
“It’s been awesome,” left fielder Pat Burrell said of Philadelphia’s streak. “We just have to stick to our approach when we hit the road. It starts with the pitching. We got great pitching the entire homestand and we put some runs up.”
Especially in Sunday’s 6-2 win over Milwaukee. Journeyman right-hander Cory Lidle gave up four hits and just one earned run in seven innings.
“This was exactly what we needed,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “I can’t explain it other than our players are doing a good job.”
The Phillies now hope their good karma carries over to the road, where they are 14-17 this season. They should get a boost in the opener against the Mariners with ace Jon Lieber on the mound. The veteran right-hander started the season with four wins and a 2.73 ERA in his first four starts, but has since struggled with consistency, going just 4-4 with a 5.67 ERA over his last nine outings.
The Mariners are coming off a 2-4 road trip which ended with three straight losses. Seattle dropped a 3-2 decision in Washington on Sunday in which it left two men on base in each of the first four innings, and finished 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
“We burned a lot of runs at third base with less than two outs,” manager Mike Hargrove said.
The Mariners will start their 10-game homestand without the services of third baseman Adrian Beltre. After hitting two doubles against the Nationals on Sunday, Beltre left in the fifth inning with tightness in his hamstring.
“It’s similar to what he had in Kansas City, maybe a little more severe,” Hargrove said. “But we won’t know for sure until (Monday or Tuesday). I would be surprised if it’s not going to be at least 2-3-4 days.”