Corey Lidle, the only Philadelphia Phillies pitcher to lose in the last 14 games, looks to rebound from his worst outing of the season Tuesday when the surging Phillies open a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Lidle (3-4, 5.12 ERA) was roughed up for seven hits and eight runs over two innings of a 13-4 loss Wednesday to the New York Mets, but he takes the mound for a rejuvenated Phillies team that has gone 13-1 since April 30. The Phillies (22-15) have averaged 5.4 runs during this stretch, and their pitching staff has a 2.95 ERA in those games.
Philadelphia completed a three-game sweep at Cincinnati with a 2-1, 12-inning win Sunday, also winning its fifth consecutive series. Ryan Howard tied the game with a pinch-hit homer in the eighth and won it with a solo shot in the 12th.
“We come to the ballpark expecting to win,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. “Right now, we’re good as far as being together and our chemistry and how we look at things. I’ve got a good feeling about our club right now.”
Howard was less chipper than his manager Sunday, battling a stomach ailment that prompted a late-night trip to the emergencey room Saturday night and prevented him from starting Sunday.
“I felt weak, tired,” admitted Howard, who has homered four times in the last five games. “I was just trying to see some pitches. I was just being very selective.”
Reliever Geoff Geary worked his way out of trouble in the 11th to get the victory, and Tom Gordon picked up his 13th save. Geary, Rheal Cormier and Arthur Rhodes have combined for 16 2-3 scoreless innings in Philadelphia’s last 14 games, and Gordon has seven saves in that span.
The Phillies held the Reds, the highest-scoring team in the NL, to four runs and 16 hits in the sweep.
Lidle is 2-2 with a 3.83 in seven career starts against Milwaukee.
The Brewers (19-19) are playing their second straight NL East opponent after taking two of three games from the division-leading Mets, helping Philadelphia draw within one game of New York.
Milwaukee got a dramatic game-winning home run of its own Sunday, a two-out solo homer from utilityman Bill Hall in the 10th inning for a 6-5 victory over the Mets. Hall was one of several players around the league to use pink bats as part of a Mother’s Day breast cancer fundraiser.
Even after striking out three times with the bat, Hall stuck with it with his mother Vergie in the crowd.
“It had her name on it,” Hall said. “I mean, she’s up there watching. Like I said, she’s never let me give up, and I wasn’t going to give up on the bat because I was having a tough time.”
The Brewers are 5-8 in May, but are trying to win for the third time in four games behind Chris Capuano (4-3, 2.83). The left-hander has recorded a quality start in each of his eight outings—allowing no more than three earned runs while working at least six innings each time out—but lost both of his starts in a six-game West Coast trip.
Capuano was reached for three runs and six hits in six innings of a 3-0 defeat at San Diego, but is making his first start at Miller Park since defeating the Atlanta Braves on April 24. The southpaw lost his only start to the Phillies last season, giving up four runs and six hits in five innings.
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