An offensive outburst helped the Philadelphia Phillies snap their latest skid and move into position to end their recent struggles in Arizona.
The Phillies can win their first series at Chase Field in three years with a second straight victory over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
Philadelphia (8-10) was second-to-last in the majors with 48 runs before it matched a season high to even the three-game set in Arizona with an 8-5 victory Tuesday. Shane Victorino homered for the second time in as many games and Hunter Pence snapped an 0-for-16 slump with a two-run shot to help the Phillies snap a three-game skid.
Laynce Nix also had a two-run homer for Philadelphia, which will try to win back-to-back games at Arizona for the first time since July 27-28, 2009.
"I think we needed a game where we got a good lead and were able to sustain it the whole game,'' Nix said. "We're confident as a group we can get the job done. It was nice to come out and do it.''
Though Pence finished 1 for 4, he likely gained some confidence and felt some relief after sitting out Monday's 9-5 loss to the Diamondbacks (9-9) with a shoulder injury.
"(The shoulder) felt OK, so I decided to take some swings and see how it felt then,'' said Pence, batting .361 with two homers and seven RBIs in his last 10 games versus Arizona. "If I'm able to play, I'm going to play. In this game you put up with a lot.''
Victorino, meanwhile, has hit three of his four home runs this season in his last five games and Ty Wigginton is batting .353 during a 10-game hitting streak.
After Vance Worley gave up one run in six innings Tuesday, Cole Hamels (2-1, 2.95 ERA) tries to win his third straight start in the finale. Despite being called for two balks, Hamels allowed a run in six innings of a 4-1 win in his hometown of San Diego on Friday.
"You've just got to take it for what it is and keep pitching,'' Hamels said of dealing with the balks.
The left-hander is 3-1 with a 3.72 ERA in six starts versus Arizona.
Jason Kubel has never faced Hamels, but the left fielder homered for the third time in four games Tuesday. Kubel has hit .367 with those three homers and six RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak.
Trevor Cahill (1-1, 2.84) hopes to rebound from his first rough start of the season when he takes the mound for Arizona.
After he gave up one run in each of his first two road starts with his new team, Cahill was roughed up for seven - four earned - in 5 2-3 innings of a 9-1 loss to Atlanta on Friday in his home debut.
"I was thinking I have to make quality pitches and then I would leave the ball over the plate instead of relaxing and attacking," Cahill told the Diamondbacks' official website.
The right-hander fared well in his only previous appearance against the Phillies, allowing a run and three hits while striking out six in 7 2-3 innings of a 4-1 win for Oakland on June 25.
- Hunter Pence
- Cole Hamels