The Chicago Cubs may own the league’s worst record, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make life difficult for playoff contenders.
The Cubs look to continue their success against Philadelphia pitching and win their fourth straight game overall when they continue their series with the Phillies Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia (77-73), second-place in the NL wild-card race 1 1/2 games behind the San Diego Padres, had its three-game winning streak snapped with an 11-6 defeat in Monday’s opener.
Aramis Ramirez homered twice and had a career-high seven RBIs for the Cubs (62-89), who scored 11 runs against Philadelphia for the second straight meeting.
The Cubs defeated the Phillies 11-2 on Aug. 24 at Wrigley Field.
“We had a bad game,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Monday. “We have 12 more to play. This one is gone. We have to keep going.”
A fourth consecutive victory would match the longest streak of the season for the last-place Cubs, who won four in a row from July 27-30 and again from Aug. 13-16.
They’ve outscored opponents 26-9 and hit 11 homers during the current run.
Ramirez, the sixth Cubs’ player to have 35 homers and 35 doubles in a season, also has a nine-game hitting streak. He’s hit .500 (17-for-34) in that span.
“He’s been swinging the bat great,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said of Ramirez. “He’s really finished strong.”
Cubs shortstop Ronny Cedeno went 2-for-5 Monday to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
Moyer, who pitched his first three major league seasons for the Cubs from 1986-88, allowed three runs in six innings in a 6-3 victory over his original club on Aug. 22.
The 43-year-old left-hander lost to the Atlanta Braves last Thursday, however, when he gave up four runs in six innings of a 4-1 defeat.
Cubs right-hander Wade Miller (0-1, 6.75), making his third start after missing most of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery, will try to pick up his first win since Aug. 3, 2005, when he faces Moyer.
In his first start on Sept. 9, Miller allowed four runs, five hits— including two homers—and five walks in three innings of a 7-3 loss to the Braves.
Miller fared better last Thursday against the Dodgers, allowing just one hit — another two-run homer—in five innings while walking three and striking out three, but did not record a decision in Chicago’s 6-5 victory.
Miller is 0-3 with a 4.22 ERA in six career appearances, including four starts, versus the Phillies. He has not faced them since 2003.
Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard continues to lead the majors with 57 home runs. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts Monday after homering in Sunday’s 6-4 win at Houston.