Washington (14-33) at Philadelphia (25-20)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 84° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri May 29, 2009
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The Philadelphia Phillies may find the cure to their home woes when the Washington Nationals visit this weekend.

The Phillies look to beat the Nationals for the fifth straight time Friday night when they open a three-game series.

Philadelphia (25-20) owns by far the best road record in the majors at 16-6, but has won only one of its first eight series at Citizens Bank Park. That lone victory came when it took two of three from Washington (13-33) April 27-29.

The Phillies lost two of three to Florida earlier this week, dropping Wednesday’s finale 6-2 after going 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. They went 3 for 23 in the series.

“It seems like that’s been the common theme at home,” slugger Matt Stairs(notes) told the Phillies’ official Web site. “We can’t really figure it out.”

That lack of production hasn’t been a problem for the Phillies against the lowly Nationals, who were swept at home by Philadelphia in a four-game set May 15-17. The Phillies scored 33 runs, hit .327 and batted .411 (23 for 56) with runners in scoring position in that series.

Philadelphia is 7-2 against Washington this season, and the top third of its batting order has done plenty of damage. Chase Utley(notes) is batting .380 (10 for 26) with 11 runs scored and six RBIs against the Nationals, Jimmy Rollins(notes) is hitting .350 (14 for 40) with seven runs scored and Shane Victorino(notes) is 11 for 37 (.297) with eight runs scored and seven RBIs.

It adds up as a daunting task for Washington rookie Ross Detwiler(notes) (0-0, 2.45 ERA) entering his third major league start.

“They have a great lineup over there,” Detwiler told the Nationals’ official Web site. “It’s definitely a challenge for me. That’s why we play the game. I’m really excited to get there. I looked at the lineup briefly. There are a lot of lefties and I hope it works in my favor.”

The 23-year-old Detwiler will make his first road start after he allowed one run and one hit over six innings Saturday in a 2-1 loss to Baltimore. The 6-foot-5 left-hander walked four and struck out four.

The Nationals are hoping Detwiler can help them forget a dismal series against the New York Mets this week. They scored seven runs in a three-game sweep and fell to 2-13 in road games against NL East opponents.

Adam Dunn(notes) homered for the second straight game in a 7-4 loss Wednesday, and has four homers and nine RBIs in his last four games. Dunn homered in his first four games against the Phillies this season, but has gone homerless with two RBIs in the last five.

Philadelphia will give J.A. Happ(notes) (2-0, 2.60) his second start of the season. Happ made his first start Saturday after Chan Ho Park(notes) was demoted from the rotation.

Happ allowed two runs in six innings in a 5-4 loss to the New York Yankees. He has pitched at least six innings in his last four starts.

This is the left-hander’s first career start versus the Nationals. He has pitched seven scoreless innings of relief against them, yielding five hits and three walks.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Detwiler Atl vs. J. Happ Sea
1-6 Record 12-4
5.00 ERA 2.93
43 K 119
33 BB 56
1.59 WHIP 1.23


Friday, May 29