Giants-Phillies Preview

The Associated Press

The San Francisco Giants are turning to a reliever as they try to extend a recent stretch of dominance in Philadelphia.

With Yusmeiro Petit getting the start Tuesday night, the Giants will try to capture the first two contests of a four-game set with the sliding Phillies.

San Francisco (55-44) won for the fourth time in five games overall with a 7-4 series-opening victory Monday that was its seventh in nine contests at Citizens Bank Park. The win kept the Giants in a tie for first in the NL West with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

They have won 11 of their last 14 in NL East ballparks with a 5.36 scoring average.

A 15-hit effort was highlighted by Hunter Pence's 3-for-5 night, giving the right fielder a 7-for-14 mark over his last three games, a .315 average in the leadoff spot and an NL-best 37 multihit games.

Pablo Sandoval managed two hits and is batting .421 over his last nine contests, and Adam Duvall went 2 for 5 with a home run in place of the injured Brandon Belt. Belt landed on the seven-day disabled list before the game with a concussion, but Duvall has been impressive at Triple-A Fresno with a .303 average, 26 home runs and 79 RBIs.

"Any time you get up here, it doesn't matter how late," said the 25-year-old Duvall, who has two homers in 23 at-bats over two major league stints this season.

Petit (3-3, 3.86 ERA) will get his sixth starting assignment of the season and first since May 31 after Matt Cain was put on the DL for the third time this season. Petit is 1-2 with a 5.81 ERA as a starter this year and 1-0 with a 7.71 ERA in a start and four relief outings against Philadelphia in his career. Jimmy Rollins is 3 for 7 with a home run in the matchup, while Chase Utley is 0 for 6.

Philadelphia (43-56) suffered its fifth loss in six games despite multihit efforts from six players. Utley was among them and extended his hitting streak against San Francisco to 11 games.

Grady Sizemore wasn't one of them, but he hit safely in his seventh straight game since joining the big league club on July 11.

The Phillies' 14 hits didn't include any for extra-bases, but a 5-for-21 mark with runners in scoring position in back-to-back losses was of greater concern.

"It would have been nice to just get the big hit with guys in scoring position," Sizemore told MLB's official website. "Guys were having good at-bats and really grinding up there, but we just couldn't seem to get the big hit when we needed it."

The Phillies now send Roberto Hernandez to the mound hoping he can duplicate his latest work.

Hernandez (4-8, 4.22) snapped a three-start losing streak in a 4-1 win on July 9 at Milwaukee, earning the decision while holding the Brewers to a run and three hits in eight innings for one of his strongest starts of the season.

"It looked like the ball was darting both ways," manager Ryne Sandberg said.

Hernandez is 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in two career starts against San Francisco. Marco Scutaro is 14 for 29 against him.

Prior to the opener, the Phillies designated outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. for assignment. Gwynn batted .163 (16 for 98) with three extra-base hits and three RBIs in 67 games.

The Giants signed former All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla to a minor league contract on Monday.

"He's excited and we are, too," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He'll get at-bats at Fresno and hopefully he can help us."