An outstanding road trip helped the Philadelphia Phillies erase the memories of their last home series.
The Phillies try for a fourth straight win Friday night and look to end a four-game home skid as they take on the Milwaukee Brewers.
Philadelphia (76-58) embarked on a seven-game trip west after being swept in a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park by Houston from Aug. 23-26. The Phillies scored a total of seven runs in that series.
The offense picked up during the tail end of a 6-1 trip that was capped by a 12-11 victory at Colorado in a makeup game Thursday. Chase Utley(notes) drove in six runs and hit a grand slam to cap a nine-run seventh inning, and Ryan Howard(notes) and Jayson Werth(notes) also went deep.
“I imagine a lot of guys have driven in a lot of runs here,” Utley said. “There is a lot of room for hits and the ball carries well here.”
The Phillies lead San Francisco by two games for the NL wild card, and trail Atlanta by two games in the East.
Philadelphia has totaled 25 runs during this win streak after scoring 11 during the first four games of the trip. Utley is 7 for 13 with eight RBIs in the last three games.
Howard and Werth are both trying to get untracked. Howard has seven hits in his last 61 at-bats while Werth was 2 for 17 on the road trip before a three-hit effort Thursday.
The Phillies will start Cole Hamels(notes) (8-10, 3.31 ERA), who ended a long winless streak Sunday by yielding four singles in eight innings in a 5-0 victory at San Diego - his hometown. He went 0-3 with a 2.83 ERA over his previous eight starts.
Hamels said it didn’t seem that long since he recorded a win.
“No, I’ve been able to go out game after game and put together good innings,” he said. “It was just a matter of time.”
The left-hander is 3-2 with a 4.23 ERA in seven career starts against the Brewers, and also pitched eight scoreless innings against them in the 2008 NL division series opener.
Brewers slugger Prince Fielder(notes) is a .300 hitter against Hamels, but he’s hitting a career-worst .228 against left-handers this year. Fielder tied Howard for the major league lead with 141 RBIs last year, but is fifth on his team this year with 69.
Milwaukee (62-71) had a day off Thursday after being swept at Cincinnati, managing nine runs in the three-game series.
Chris Capuano(notes) (2-2, 5.06) will make his second start since joining the rotation Saturday against Pittsburgh. He gave up six runs over three innings in an 8-7, 11-inning win in his first start since July 19 as he fills in for the struggling Manny Parra(notes).
Capuano hasn’t faced the Phillies since 2006. The left-hander is 0-1 with a 3.79 ERA in three starts against them.