Philadelphia (42-41) at Pittsburgh (35-46)

Fair Currently: Pittsburgh, PA
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue Jul 5, 2005
  • TV: CSN, FSPI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Maybe a start against the Pittsburgh Pirates will help Jon Lieber end his prolonged pitching slump.

Lieber hopes to continue his dominance against Pittsburgh as the Phillies and Pirates continue their four-game series at PNC Park.

Lieber has struggled to live up to the lucrative $21-million, 3-year free agent contract he signed with Philadelphia in December.

The veteran right-hander jumped out to 5-1 record after seven starts before hitting the skids and going 3-7 over his next 11 outings. His ERA has risen from 2.57 on May 7, when he was 5-1, to 5.18.

“It’s been frustrating,” Lieber said. “The bottom line is I’m the one to blame. It’s really upsetting because I feel like I’m letting the team down. It’s time for me to be more consistent.”

Lieber, who has lost four straight decisions, has fared well in his career against the Pirates. The 35-year-old hurler is 7-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 11 career starts against Pittsburgh.

The Phillies are looking to win their second straight against the Pirates.

Bobby Abreu hit a grand slam to lead Philadelphia to a 12-1 victory over Pittsburgh Monday in a matchup of slumping teams.

Abreu drove in five runs as the Phillies notched their fourth win in 15 games.

Pat Burrell had three hits and two RBIs, and Jason Michaels, David Bell and Ryan Howard each had two hits and an RBI.

The Pirates have lost 16 of 21 since they were 30-30 on June 11 and, at 35-46, have a worse record midway through the season than they did a year ago (37-44), when they lost 89 games.

Pittsburgh will throw struggling righty Kip Wells to the mound on Tuesday. He’s 0-4 with a 10.80 ERA over his last four starts to fall to 5-8 on the season.

Wells has a career 3-0 record and 1.83 ERA in three starts against Philadelphia.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Lieber ChC vs. K. Wells LAA
17-13 Record 8-18
4.20 ERA 5.09
149 K 132
41 BB 99
1.21 WHIP 1.57