Philadelphia seeks its sixth win in seven games and tries to extend Los Angeles’ recent struggles in the opener of a three-game set.
The Phillies had a mostly disappointing first half of the season, but ended it on a positive note with back-to-back wins over the NL East-leading Washington Nationals. The All-Star break, highlighted by Bobby Abreu’s record-setting victory in the Home Run Derby, has not slowed down the Phillies.
They returned to win three of four from the Florida Marlins, a team which has mostly dominated Philadelphia over the last two seasons. The series ended Sunday with the Phillies winning 8-4 after they tagged Marlins ace Dontrelle Willis for eight runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings.
“This was a big win and a big series for us,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said after his team scored 38 runs in the four games against Florida.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, were held to nine runs in their four-game set against the San Francisco Giants. Los Angeles dropped three games in that series after closing the first half with four consecutive losses.
The Dodgers have lost 22 of their last 30 games, including a 4-16 mark on the road.
“There’s not one person not trying their heart out. We’re just coming up short,” Los Angeles’ Jeff Weaver said after throwing seven strong innings in Sunday’s 4-1 loss.
“We’re battling the whole game and it’s a two-out hit or two-out pitch that gets us. All you can do is continue to play hard. There’s quite a bit of time left and it’s on us to turn things around. If we don’t, we’ll be going home early.”
Brad Penny is hoping not to go home early again as he gets the start Tuesday.
He threw three scoreless innings against San Francisco on Thursday before being ejected by plate umpire Rob Drake after tossing his helmet in protest of a call at first base.
Penny has given up just two earned runs in his last 17 2-3 innings.
He’ll be opposed by Brett Myers, who is 3-0 with a 0.59 ERA in his last four starts against Los Angeles.
The Dodgers have lost their last seven games in Philadelphia, dating to Aug. 4, 2002, and haven’t won a series there since August 1999.