Philadelphia (89-63) at Milwaukee (75-78)

Fair Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 41° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 25, 2009
  • TV: CSN, FSWI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee(notes) has never faced Milwaukee. The Brewers’ Manny Parra(notes) probably wishes he could say the same about facing the Phillies.

Lee will try to help the Phillies close in on another NL East title Friday night as they look to pound Parra again.

Philadelphia (89-63) reduced its magic number to clinch the division to four with a 9-3 victory Thursday in the opener of this four-game set. The Phillies have won nine of 12 to move one-half game ahead of St. Louis in the race for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Lee (7-2, 2.65 ERA) will get his first look at the Brewers (75-78) after an abbreviated outing. The left-hander won consecutive starts over last-place Washington before leaving after yielding one run and five hits in four innings of a 4-2 rain-delayed victory Sunday at Atlanta.

“I’m never going to be happy coming out after four innings regardless of what the circumstances are,” Lee said. “I want to go out there and get deep in games.”

Lee is 4-1 with a 3.08 ERA in six road starts since Philadelphia acquired him from Cleveland on July 29. He’s 3 2-3 innings shy of surpassing his career-high (223 1-3) set during his AL Cy Young Award-winning season with the Indians last year.

If history is an indicator, Lee could get plenty of support with Parra (10-10, 6.42) opposing him. The Brewers left-hander is 0-3 with a 17.05 ERA in three starts against the Phillies, failing to last past the fourth inning in all of them.

Excluding pitchers, current Philadelphia batters are 13 for 24 with 10 RBIs and three strikeouts against Parra.

Parra hasn’t pitched since leaving a start against St. Louis on Sept. 8 with a stiff neck. His 6.42 ERA is the highest in the NL for any pitcher with at least 80 innings.

“I want to finish off strong because I know I’m better than I’ve pitched this year,” Parra told the Brewers’ official Web site.

Philadelphia totaled 14 hits Thursday as Jimmy Rollins(notes) capped a six-run fifth inning with a three-run homer. Pedro Feliz(notes) added three hits and two RBIs and Shane Victorino(notes) had three hits.

“We just couldn’t stop the bleeding,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said of the Phillies’ fifth. “Even the pitcher got a hit.”

The Phillies have split four games with the Brewers this year after enjoying a rare win at Miller Park. They won for the third time in their last 11 games at Milwaukee, not counting a two-game split in last year’s NL division series.

This series features co-major league RBI leaders Ryan Howard(notes) of Philadelphia and Prince Fielder(notes) of Milwaukee. Howard had two RBIs and Fielder added one Thursday to leave the sluggers tied at 132 - three ahead of MVP favorite Albert Pujols(notes) of St. Louis.

Fielder is the only player in baseball who has not missed a game all year. He has homered in three of his last five games to give him 42, although he has yet to connect against the Phillies in 2009.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Lee Phi vs. M. Parra Cin
14-13 Record 11-11
3.22 ERA 6.36
181 K 116
43 BB 77
1.24 WHIP 1.83

Scoreboard

Friday, Sep 25