Philadelphia's starting rotation has settled into a nice stretch of success as the Phillies prepare for a 10-game road trip.
With Jonathan Pettibone next in line, the Phillies will try to keep it going Friday night in Colorado against a Rockies team they've had plenty of success against over the last six seasons.
Philadelphia (7-8) is 30-9 against Colorado since the start of 2008. The Phillies head to Coors Field with wins in four of their last six, thanks in part to six straight games with their starters allowing two earned runs or less.
They completed a 4-5 homestand Thursday with a 1-0 win over Atlanta as A.J. Burnett held the Braves to three hits in seven scoreless innings.
"That was a big one today for us, to get the last one before going on the road trip," manager Ryne Sandberg told the team's official website. "It was big to end the homestand on a good note. It was a little up and down, but to end on a good note is a big momentum gain for us."
Chase Utley went 2 for 3, bumping his season batting average to .462, and is 17 for 34 in his last nine games. Leadoff hitter Ben Revere went 3 for 4 to break out of an 0-for-11 stretch spread over five games.
In Pettibone's only start this season, he allowed an earned run on eight hits in five innings and didn't factor into the decision of a 5-4 home win over Miami on Saturday.
"I feel pretty good," Pettibone said after that start. "Early on, it was me trying to get control of my emotions and not rushing. Later on, I got into a rhythm and more consistent mechanics. Throw strikes, get ahead and work from there."
Pettibone (0-0, 1.80 ERA) struggled on the road in 2013, going 2-3 with a 5.59 ERA, and the worst of those starts came in Colorado. He lasted three innings in his only outing against the Rockies, allowing six earned runs on 10 hits while taking the loss June 15.
Colorado starter Tyler Chatwood (0-0, 6.00 ERA) has also started just once since beginning the season on the disabled list, taking a no-decision while allowing four runs on six hits in six innings of a 5-4 loss at San Francisco on Sunday. Aside from a sixth-inning home run, he was confident in his return from a strained hamstring.
"That was the only bad pitch I felt I threw," Chatwood told the team's official website. "I was happy to get back out there on the mound."
The right-hander is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in two starts against Philadelphia and earned the win in Pettibone's only game in Colorado.
Phillies outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., who has shared time with Revere in center field, is 3 for 4 against Chatwood.
The Rockies (8-9) play their next six at home after earning a four-game split in San Diego with Thursday's 3-1 win. They went 3-4 on a trip that included three in San Francisco, and their torrid offensive pace has leveled out somewhat with a .223 average in their last six.
Colorado found a way to win on just four hits in the series finale in San Diego.
"It would have been nice to win a series here, but those guys have a lot of good arms over there," manager Walt Weiss said. "It's tough to score runs in this park against that staff. Today was a big one, the last game of a road trip."
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was out of the lineup Thursday against lefty Alex Wood. He's 3 for 17 against left-handers and figures to be back in the lineup against Chatwood.
- Jonathan Pettibone