Diamondbacks-Phillies Preview

The Associated Press

There could be some scouts in the stands to evaluate Cliff Lee in his second start since returning from the disabled list with the trade deadline looming, but if his outing is anything like his last, there might be little to report.

Audition or not, Lee and the Philadelphia Phillies will try to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks for the eighth time in 10 tries Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

After two months on the DL, Lee (4-5, 3.67 ERA) labored through 5 2-3 innings in Monday's 7-4 loss to San Francisco, surrendering six runs and 12 hits, which left him more concerned with getting himself back in top form than worrying about a potential new address.

"I felt good physically, I just wasn't locating as well as I would like," Lee told MLB's official website. "Hopefully I can iron that out between now and my next start. There were spurts of it, but I definitely need to be more consistent. But it's not that crazy considering it's the first time I've been back on the mound in a while."

He was also hittable in a previous start against Arizona, allowing five runs - three earned - and eight hits in six innings while not earning the decision in a 6-5 win on April 26.

The left-hander is 4-1 with a 3.12 ERA in seven career starts against the Diamondbacks. Paul Goldschmidt, batting .382 this month, is 2 for 10 with two home runs off him.

Philadelphia (45-58) will be in search of a third straight win after opening the series with Friday's 9-5 victory, its 14th in its last 17 home contests against Arizona. The Phillies will also be after a third straight home win to match a season best, though they're 3-9 at their own park since June 27.

Domonic Brown's strides at the plate could help. The left fielder homered and doubled in the opener and is batting .300 over his last 18 games, though his season average remains at .231.

"He looks more relaxed, and a good swing of the bat with the home run should really build some confidence with tonight's game," manager Ryne Sandberg said.

For Arizona (44-59), Aaron Hill, who is batting .346 in 26 at-bats against Lee, continued to hit with a 3-for-5 night to extend his hitting streak to nine games (.417). Mark Trumbo, now 3 for 29 over nine games, struck out to end the Arizona seventh with the bases loaded.

"He's just struggling right now," manager Kirk Gibson said. "Trying to do well for his teammates and trying to work it out and probably getting frustrated. It's just part of the game."

Josh Collmenter will be charged with getting the Diamondbacks back on track. They've lost three of four after returning from the All-Star break with three straight wins, and they've also lost eight of 11 on the road.

Collmenter (8-5, 3.64) has held opponents to one run in four of his last five starts, a 3-1 stretch with a 2.67 ERA. He limited the Chicago Cubs to a run and four hits in seven innings Sunday in a 3-2 victory.

The right-hander also beat the Phillies on April 25, throwing six scoreless innings while allowing four hits in a 5-4 victory. He's 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in seven games - three starts - against Philadelphia.

With a right-hander on the mound for Arizona, Ryan Howard could return to the Philadelphia lineup. Darin Ruf has started the last three games at first base as Sandberg seems to be working the two into a platoon. Howard is batting .141 over his last 21 games while Ruf is 2 for 9 since being recalled on Tuesday.

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