The Philadelphia Phillies’ lineup hasn’t missed a beat despite missing some key players. Solid performances on the mound aren’t hurting, either.
Playing without Jimmy Rollins(notes) (groin), Ryan Howard(notes) (bursitis) and Raul Ibanez(notes) (groin), Philadelphia had its second straight offensive outburst, beating the Mets 9-4 on Tuesday after a 10-0 victory in Monday’s series opener.
Shane Victorino(notes) homered and extended his hitting streak to 11 games, while John Mayberry(notes) Jr. - hitting .455 with three homers and 10 RBIs over his last six - hit a three-run shot in the third.
Mayberry’s recent strong play seems to have earned him a permanent spot on the roster after a pair of demotions to Triple-A Lehigh Valley earlier this season.
“I think my attitude stayed the same each and every time I was sent down,” Mayberry said. “I was disappointed, but I had to work hard and try to stay the next time.”
The Phillies (83-44) have won 18 of 23 and lead second-place Atlanta by 6 1/2 games in the NL East, even as Howard and Ibanez are listed as day to day and Rollins was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.
After Cliff Lee(notes) and Vance Worley(notes) held New York (60-68) to one run and eight hits in 14 combined innings over the past two games, Kendrick (7-5, 3.24 ERA) will look to help the Phillies sweep the Mets in Philadelphia for the first time since July 3-5, 2009.
The right-hander pitched six strong innings at Washington on Friday, allowing two runs and five hits before the Nationals rallied for six runs in the ninth to beat the Phillies 8-4.
Kendrick beat the Mets 8-5 on July 17, giving up one run in seven innings to improve to 4-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 career starts versus New York.
He’s 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 12 starts this season, but his days in the rotation may be numbered. Cole Hamels(notes) is expected to come off the disabled list and pitch Monday, meaning Kendrick is likely to return to the bullpen.
He might benefit from facing the Mets, who have lost five straight and went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position Tuesday. They’ve dropped 11 of 13 - all with shortstop Jose Reyes(notes) (hamstring) on the DL.
“This is the tough time of the year,” manager Terry Collins told the Mets’ official website. “This is when, when you’re really struggling, you’ve got to reach down inside. You’ve got to find that energy and somehow transfer it into your performance.”
Mike Pelfrey(notes) (6-10, 4.61) will take the mound once again seeking his first win of the month. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.64 ERA in four August starts, including a 6-1 loss to Milwaukee on Friday in which he gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings.
Pelfrey is 0-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four starts against the Phillies this season. He had gone 2-1 with a 2.11 ERA in his previous three starts versus Philadelphia.