Phillies-Diamondbacks Preview

The Associated Press

For a pair of teams struggling offensively, facing Cliff Lee and Daniel Hudson wasn't a best-case scenario.

It's entirely possible they'll have better luck against Kyle Kendrick and Wade Miley.

With the original scheduled starters on the disabled list, the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks hope to get their respective offenses in gear Monday night at Chase Field in the opener of a three-game set.

This game was supposed to feature an intriguing pitching matchup between Lee and Hudson, who combined for 33 wins last season. However, both starters were placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday. Lee has a strained left oblique and Hudson a right shoulder impingement.

Kendrick (0-0, 1.93 ERA) will take Lee's place for Philadelphia (7-9), while Miley (1-0, 3.12) gets the nod for Arizona (8-8). Both will be making their first starts of the season after working exclusively out of the bullpen.

"I feel comfortable with Kendrick," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told his team's official website.

Neither Kendrick nor Hudson will have to worry about facing a hot offense. The Phillies - still missing Ryan Howard and Chase Utley - rank near the bottom of the NL in runs scored (43), batting average (.239) and homers (7) and have totaled 10 runs while losing four of six.

Philadelphia is 8 for 51 (.157) with runners in scoring position over the last six games.

"We have to stay strong within and keep pushing, keep attacking and keep believing that we are going to hit better than we are hitting,'' said Hunter Pence, hitless in his last 15 at-bats.

Manuel's club won the first two games of its series in San Diego but was held to one run in each of the final two, both losses. The Phillies didn't help themselves by making a season-high three errors in Sunday's 6-1 defeat after beginning the day with the fewest errors (6) and best fielding percentage (.990) in the league.

"The last two nights were just bad games,'' Manuel said. "(Sunday), it got a little bit sloppier. It's been a while since we played this bad. I look at it like this is a test. It's a test for the coaching staff, the manager and the players. I see guys who are trying too hard. They just need to relax and play like we can.''

Arizona's offense has been better than Philadelphia's, just not by much lately.

Helped by Gerardo Parra's grand slam, the Diamondbacks ended a five-game skid with Sunday's 6-4 win over Atlanta and scored more than two runs for the first time in five games.

"This feels pretty good," manager Kirk Gibson said. "It makes you smile. It's been a while since we've shaken hands after a game.''

Arizona has batted .197 over its last five contests.

Kendrick went 5-4 with a 3.14 ERA in 15 starts last season - none against Arizona. He made his most recent appearance at San Francisco on Tuesday, tossing two scoreless innings in a 4-2 loss.

The right-hander has no record and a 4.56 ERA in five career appearances - four starts - against the Diamondbacks.

Arizona catcher Miguel Montero is 4 for 6 with a homer and a double off Kendrick.

Miley pitched seven scoreless innings in his first two appearances, but was tagged for three runs and five hits over 1 2-3 innings Thursday in a 10-2 loss to the Braves.

The left-hander went 4-2 with a 4.15 ERA in seven starts last season, winning his only two decisions at Chase Field.

Miley has never faced the Phillies.

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