It’s been eight years since the Philadelphia Phillies played four games in two days.
They’re hoping the extra work results in a shift in the NL wild-card standings when they conclude their four-game series with the Atlanta Braves with a doubleheader on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.
Friday’s series opener was rained out, forcing Sunday’s contest to be rescheduled as a traditional doubleheader. Combined with Saturday’s already scheduled twin bill, the Phillies (68-67) are playing four games in two days for the first time since going 1-3 against Florida Sept. 26-27, 1998.
Atlanta (64-70) hasn’t played consecutive doubleheaders since July 21-22, 1994, when it went 1-3 against St. Louis.
The teams split Saturday’s day-night doubleheader, with Atlanta winning the opener 4-3 and Philadelphia cruising to a 16-4 victory in the nightcap.
Mike Lieberthal homered and drove in four runs and the Phillies had 17 hits and a 14-3 lead after five innings in the second game. The Phillies finished with a season-high 20 hits and matched a season-high in runs.
Philadelphia is one game behind the San Diego Padres for the wild card, while Atlanta is 4 1/2 games back.
LaRoche has 12 RBIs in his last seven games. He had two hits in the nightcap to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. The first baseman is batting .525 (21-for-40) with three homers and 14 RBIs during the run.
Jamie Moyer (1-1, 6.00 ERA) makes his first career start in Citizens Bank Park and his first start in Philadelphia since 2003 when he takes the mound for the Phillies in the opener on Sunday.
After being traded from Seattle on Aug. 19, the 43-year-old left-hander split his first two decisions as a Phillie, both on the road. He beat the Cubs on Aug. 22, then lost to the Mets on Monday, allowing seven runs—five earned— and nine hits in six innings of an 8-3 defeat.
“They get paid to swing the bats,” Moyer said. “I got them to hit it on the ground but they hit it where we weren’t. What are you going to do? That’s why they’re the team that they are and they’ve won as many games as they have.”
Including time spent with the Mariners, Moyer is 2-7 with a 6.04 ERA in his last 11 starts.
He’s struggled against the Braves, going 1-5 with a 5.58 ERA in six career games.
Tim Hudson (11-10, 4.85) looks to extend his win streak to four and beat Philadelphia for the third time in six weeks when he starts the opener for the Braves on Sunday.
Hudson defeated the Phillies on July 24, then threw seven scoreless innings in Atlanta’s 3-1 win on Aug. 8.
“He looked like the old Hudson with the Oakland A’s,” manager Bobby Cox said. “He had a lot of strikeouts and a tremendous amount of groundballs.”
Hudson is 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA in six career starts against Philadelphia.
The Aug. 8 victory began a three-game winning streak. Hudson has posted a 3.21 ERA over his last five starts, with Atlanta winning four of them.
Brett Myers (10-6, 4.24) looks for his third straight win when he starts the second game for the Phillies. The right-hander beat the Cubs on Aug. 23, allowing one run in eight innings, then allowing three runs in six innings on Tuesday to defeat Washington.
“I made quality pitches when I had to and made a couple of mistakes, but we got the win,” Myers said.
Myers is 4-5 with a 4.40 ERA in 15 career outings against the Braves.
Lance Cormier (2-4, 5.87), who has bounced back and forth between the bullpen and rotation, will start the second game for Atlanta.
Cormier hasn’t won since beating Colorado on May 2. He was sent down to the minors on Aug. 21 but recalled on Aug. 25 when Danys Baez was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Cormier allowed two runs and four hits in three innings of relief against Washington on Aug. 27, his last appearance.
He made two starts in mid-August, allowing six earned runs in 10 2-3 innings.
Cormier has no record and a 1.08 ERA in eight career relief appearances against Philadelphia.
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