Moyer looks to end his road woes, and the Phillies look to hand the Pittsburgh Pirates yet another loss at PNC Park as the teams play the middle game of their series Saturday night.
Philadelphia (65-56) had 16 hits in an 11-8 win over Pittsburgh (50-70) in the series opener Friday night, improving to 32-31 on the road and remaining three games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East. The Phillies are one of just nine teams in the majors with a winning road record.
Moyer (11-8, 4.68 ERA), though, has not helped much in his last five starts away from Philadelphia, going 1-3 with an 8.48 ERA. He is 6-6 with a 5.17 ERA on the road for the season.
The veteran left-hander, however, has pitched well in his last five starts overall, going 4-0 with a 3.48 ERA. His only no-decision during that stretch was on the road against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 1.
In his last start, Moyer gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings to beat Atlanta 5-3 on Sunday night.
He beat the Pirates in Philadelphia on July 27, allowing only an unearned run and six hits in seven innings as the Phillies won 8-1. Moyer is 6-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 starts and two relief appearances against Pittsburgh.
Another strong game at the plate from his teammates would certainly give Moyer a good chance of notching a win Saturday, even if he doesn’t have his best stuff. On Friday, Philadelphia scored 10 runs or more for the 12th time. The Phillies totaled only nine runs in winning two of three games in Washington earlier this week.
“It was a matter of time before we started swinging the bats again,” said center fielder Aaron Rowand, who has four home runs in his last 10 games. “You’re gonna have those ups and have those downs in the course of a season.”
A homer from Rowand on Friday helped the Phillies win for the 14th time in their last 20 games against a left-handed starter. Philadelphia will try to continue its success against left-handers, with Paul Maholm (8-14, 4.38 ERA) taking the mound for Pittsburgh.
Maholm has given up three runs or less in five of his last six starts. He pitched his second career complete game in his last start, a three-hitter as Pittsburgh beat San Francisco 3-1 in the first game of a doubleheader Monday.
Maholm is 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA in two career starts against the Phillies.
He has been pitched well in his last four starts at home, going 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA. The Pirates, however, have the majors worst home record at 27-36, including four losses in their last five at PNC Park.
A bright spot for Pittsburgh has been its improved hitting, totaling 26 runs and 33 hits in its last three games.
“The approach to our at-bats,” Pirates manager Jim Tracy told the team’s official Web site. “We’ve done a great job of running up pitch counts.”