Los Angeles (22-14) at Philadelphia (19-17)

Rain Currently: Philadelphia, PA, US
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue May 18, 2004
  • TV: FSN2, CSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Moving Wilson Alvarez into the starting rotation is starting to look like a brilliant decision by Los Angeles Dodgers manager Jim Tracy.

Alvarez will try to help the Dodgers snap a season high-tying four-game losing streak in the opener of a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Alvarez, who began the season in the bullpen, will be making just his third start of the season. But he has been superb in his two previous outings.

After limiting Pittsburgh to one hit over seven innings in a 4-0 win on May 7, Alvarez was nearly as impressive against the Chicago Cubs last Wednesday.

The 34-year-old left-hander gave up five hits over 7 2-3 innings in another 4-0 victory. He struck out eight while walking just one.

“It was just a tremendous performance,” Tracy said.

Tracy will hope for another outstanding effort as the Dodgers try to snap their slide.

The Dodgers fell to Cincinnati 6-3 Sunday in the finale of their three-game series, completing a dismal weekend for some of their best hitters.

Adrian Beltre, who entered the series with the second-highest batting average in the majors behind teammate Paul Lo Duca, was 1-for-12 in the set, dropping his average from .379 to .354. Lo Duca also went 1-for-12, lowering his mark from .386 to .357.

“It was a rough weekend,” said Dodgers cleanup hitter Shawn Green, who failed to drive in a run in 11 at-bats against Cincinnati. “We didn’t hit, we didn’t pitch, we didn’t do a lot of things. It’s hard to win when you don’t play the game right. You never want to get swept, but better now than later.”

The Phillies return home after going 7-3 on a road trip to Arizona, San Francisco and Colorado. After winning seven of their first eight on the trip, they dropped the final two of a four-game set with the Rockies.

Mike Lieberthal and Chase Utley each drove in three runs Monday, but the Phillies wasted a six-run lead and lost 7-6.

Tim Worrell, who assumed the closing duties when Billy Wagner was placed on the disabled list with a groin injury, served up a two-run homer to Vinny Castilla in the ninth for his second blown save of the season.

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Starting Pitchers

W. Alvarez LAD vs. V. Padilla BOS
7-6 Record 7-7
4.03 ERA 4.53
102 K 82
31 BB 36
1.16 WHIP 1.34