The Phillies look to win their 12th straight game over San Diego as their three-game series continues Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia (38-44) has won just six of its last 23 games, and has fallen 10 1/2 games behind first-place New York in the NL East—the largest deficit of any second-place team.
The Phillies won their second straight game Tuesday with a 6-5 win over the Padres (43-40), and have not won three consecutive games since a four-game winning streak June 4-7.
“Right now, we have a whole new outlook on everything,” Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard said. “Everything in the first half is behind us.”
Aaron Rowand doubled in Howard in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday to give Philadelphia its 11th straight victory over San Diego. The Phillies haven’t lost to the Padres since May 22, 2004, and they haven’t defeated an opponent 12 straight times since a 14-game winning streak over the Chicago Cubs from Sept. 20, 1980-Sept. 27, 1981.
“We haven’t played well against them,” San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. “We have to do something about that. We have a tough time with them, we know it.”
Bobby Abreu doubled on Tuesday, and is batting .342 (75-for-219) lifetime against the Padres, his highest batting average against any NL opponent. Abreu is 3-for-7 (.429) with one home run in his career against Wednesday’s starter Jake Peavy (4-8, 4.50 ERA).
Peavy looks to shake his recent struggles when he takes the mound and win his first game since May 28.
Peavy allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings of a 6-5, 14-inning loss on Thursday, and is 0-3 with a 5.28 ERA in his last five starts.
The 25-year-old right-hander is just 1-5 with a 5.48 ERA in his last eight contests, and 1-4 with a 4.26 ERA in five road starts this season.
Peavy, who led the NL with 216 strikeouts last season, has 109 this season, but has already surpassed his loss total in 2005, when he went 13-7. He is 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA in three career starts against Philadelphia.
The Phillies will counter with Scott Mathieson (0-2, 6.75), who will make his third career start, and is still in search of his first win.
Mathieson allowed five runs, five hits and three walks in 2 2-3 innings before exiting due to a 41-minute rain delay in a 12-5 loss to Baltimore on Wednesday. The 22-year-old right-hander has allowed nine runs and 13 hits in 8 2-3 innings in his two starts, and he has never faced a NL team.
San Diego lost its third straight game on Tuesday, and hasn’t lost four in a row since May 19-22.
The Padres are in a three-way tie for first place in the NL West with Colorado and Los Angeles, while San Francisco is one-half game back.