Philadelphia (48-30) has managed one run and four hits in each of its first two games against the A’s (35-43). The paltry run total was enough to win Friday’s opener, as Vance Worley(notes) and three relievers limited Oakland to four hits, but the A’s bounced back Saturday with 10 hits to hand the Phillies a 4-1 loss, snapping a season-best eight-game home winning streak.
The top four hitters in Philadelphia’s batting order - Jimmy Rollins(notes), Placido Polanco(notes), Chase Utley(notes) and Ryan Howard(notes) - are a combined 2 for 27 (.074) with five walks on the weekend. Oakland’s Trevor Cahill(notes) allowed one run in 7 2-3 innings Saturday after Guillermo Moscoso(notes) threw seven shutout innings in the opener.
“They got good pitching,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “At the same time, we’ve got to score runs.”
That could be tough against Outman (3-1, 2.86 ERA), who has yielded two runs and eight hits over 13 innings while winning his last two starts. Five of the left-hander’s six outings this season have been quality starts, and he has yielded two runs or fewer four times.
In Tuesday’s 7-3 victory over the New York Mets, Outman gave up two runs and four hits in six innings.
Outman is 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA in four career interleague starts. He has never faced the Phillies.
Although Philadelphia has the majors’ second-best record against left-handers at 15-6, some of its top hitters have struggled versus southpaws.
Utley is hitting .167 against left-handers, and although Howard is batting slightly better against lefties than righties (.264 to .250) all 16 of his homers have come off right-handers.
Halladay allowed one run in a season low-tying six innings against St. Louis on Tuesday. The right-hander, who failed to reach 100 pitches for the first time in 16 starts, was lifted for a pinch hitter with the score tied at 1. Philadelphia erupted for nine runs in the eighth inning en route to a 10-2 victory.
The Phillies have won each of Halladay’s last seven starts, and are 13-3 with him on the mound this season.
Halladay is 3-0 with a 2.09 ERA in his last five starts against the Athletics but hasn’t seen them since 2008.
He’ll be facing an Oakland offense that has been enduring similar problems to Philadelphia’s.
The A’s had managed three runs while batting .144 during a three-game skid prior to Saturday’s victory. Oakland’s top four hitters - Jemile Weeks(notes), Mark Ellis(notes), Coco Crisp(notes) and Hideki Matsui(notes) - went a combined 8 for 17 in the win and No. 8 hitter Adam Rosales(notes) hit his second homer in seven games this season.
The A’s, last in the majors with 41 home runs, have hit either one homer or none in 29 straight games - two shy of a club record set in 1978.
Halladay has surrendered two homers in 64 2-3 innings at Citizens Bank Park this season.