Philadelphia (20-15) at Cincinnati (23-13)

Fog Currently: Cincinnati, OH
Temp: 67° F
  • Game info: 6:10 pm EDT Sat May 13, 2006
  • TV: CSN, FSOH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The surging Philadelphia Phillies may not have Aaron Rowand, but the way replacement Shane Victorino is playing, they show no signs of slowing down.

The Phillies (20-15) try for their 12th win in 13 games when they meet the Cincinnati Reds (23-13) on Saturday at Great American Ball Park in the middle game of a weekend series.

Victorino had four of Philadelphia’s 12 hits in an 8-4 win on Friday in the series opener, moving the Phillies within two games of the NL East-leading New York Mets.

The loss dropped Cincinnati into a first-place tie with St. Louis in the Central Division.

Rowand underwent surgery Friday to repair a broken nose suffered after running into the outfield wall while making a catch in a 2-0 rain-shortened win over the Mets on Thursday. He also had fractures around his left eye and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

“Right now, it looks like it’s going to take 15 to 20 days,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.

Since replacing Rowand, Victorino has gone 6-for-6 with two doubles, a triple and a two-run home run. That homer was part of a four-run ninth inning that helped seal Friday’s win and gave Victorino 10 hits in his last 13 at-bats, raising his batting average to .424.

The Phillies got five shutout innings from highly touted rookie Cole Hamels, who made his major league debut, while Ryan Madson earned the win despite allowing two runs in the sixth inning. Philadelphia closer Tom Gordon earned his 11th save in 12 opportunities.

Jon Lieber (2-4, 6.60) will try to win his third consecutive start when he takes the mound for Philadelphia Saturday after starting the season with four consecutive losses and one no decision. The right-hander allowed four runs and six hits, including two homers, over seven innings Sunday in a 9-5 victory over San Francisco.

Lieber is 10-8 with a 4.42 ERA in 23 career starts against the Reds.

Dave Williams (2-2, 7.85) will take the ball for Cincinnati Saturday and try to build on two wins and two no-decisions in his last four outings. The left-hander has struggled with his control this season allowing at least one home run in every start this season for a total of eight and collecting 14 walks compared to just 10 strikeouts.

Williams gave up five runs and six hits over five innings in a 9-8 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. He is 0-2 in three appearances versus the Phillies with a 11.12 ERA, his worst mark against any team.

Cincinnati struggled at the plate Friday, tying their season low with four hits and losing for just the third time in the last 10 games. Austin Kearns and Edwin Encarnacion each had solo homers and shortstop Felipe Lopez was 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to seven games.

Lopez is hitting .552 (16-for-29) with two doubles, a homer, four RBIs and six stolen bases during the streak.

Adam Dunn, who made a rare appearance at first base, is 0-for-7 over the last two games, but hopes to turn that around Saturday. He is batting .471 in 17 career at-bats versus Lieber, including three doubles and two home runs.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Lieber ChC vs. D. Williams Was
9-11 Record 5-4
4.93 ERA 6.52
100 K 32
24 BB 20
1.31 WHIP 1.64