The Philadelphia Phillies are likely going to need a good deal of help to make the playoffs, but getting back to .500 is a first step.
The Phillies look to match their season high with a sixth straight win Tuesday night when they continue their series against the Miami Marlins.
Philadelphia was 14 games under .500 after losing its first game out of the All-Star break, but just when it seemed the Phillies were set to miss the playoffs for the first time in six years and finish with a losing record for the first time since 2002, a late run has them back in contention.
Kendrick won for the fifth time in six starts and is part of a staff that has compiled a 2.74 ERA over the last 22 games after posting a 4.25 mark in the first 88 games through July 13.
Philadelphia still would have to make up considerable ground on St. Louis and three other teams are also in the mix for the second wild card.
“We definitely know where we’re at,” Kendrick said. “We’ve got to win every night. But we’re in the hunt. That’s fun. Hopefully we can make something happen.”
A win Tuesday would bring the Phillies (70-71) to .500 for the first time since June 4 when they were 28-28. They haven’t won six in a row since May 13-18.
Roy Halladay (9-7, 3.87 ERA) will try to extend a run of his own Tuesday and win his fourth straight decision.
The veteran is 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA over his last seven starts, including 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA at home. He gave up one run over 7 1-3 innings in a 6-2 win at Cincinnati on Wednesday.
“Roy did fine,” manager Charlie Manuel said of Halladay, who came off the disabled list in July. “As his arm gets stronger, he’ll get more velocity. He has good movement. He made pitches when he had to.”
The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts against the Marlins this year. He surrendered three runs and struck out seven over seven innings in a 9-2 loss Aug. 15.
Miami (63-79) was held to three hits Monday and lost for the eighth time in 12 games.
“We had opportunities with the right people at the plate, but we didn’t swing the ball well,” manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Giancarlo Stanton went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts after hitting a home run in each of his previous three games. He’s batting .167 (4 for 24) with no homers and one RBI at Philadelphia this season.
The Marlins send Nathan Eovaldi (4-11, 4.44) to the mound hoping he can snap a personal three-start losing streak.
Eovaldi gave up two runs in five innings of an 8-5 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday. The right-hander has received four total runs of support during his three-game skid.