A dandy duel at Dodger Stadium could be on tap Saturday night with a pair of stellar left-handers set to meet for the first time.
Cliff Lee has won his last seven decisions for the Philadelphia Phillies, who will get their first look at impressive Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Lee (9-2, 2.51 ERA) was working on a six-hit shutout Monday before he failed to retire the two batters he saw in the ninth inning and was charged with two runs as closer Jonathan Papelbon blew a save in a 4-3, 10-inning loss at San Diego.
The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner has still gone 7-0 with a 2.00 ERA in 10 starts since losing at Cleveland on May 1. His 0.95 ERA against the Dodgers (36-43) is his second-best against any club, and he's 2-1 in five starts against them.
It will be much anticipated when Lee faces rookie sensation Yasiel Puig for the first time. Puig is hitting .424 in June to lead the majors.
Lee has fared well against Matt Kemp (1 for 13) and Andre Ethier (0 for 8) while Adrian Gonzalez (9 for 16) and Hanley Ramirez (5 for 10) have caused him problems.
Ryu (6-3, 2.85), meanwhile, is 4-1 with a 1.81 ERA in eight home starts. He allowed one run over 6 2-3 innings and did not receive a decision in Monday's 3-1 victory over San Francisco.
Although Ryu has not faced Philadelphia (39-42), his lowest ERA versus any division he owns more than one start against is his 1.71 mark versus the NL East. He's 1-0 in four outings against the East.
One hitter he won't face is Ryan Howard, who won't start for the second straight game with the Dodgers starting a second straight lefty after Chris Capuano was on the mound in Philadelphia's 16-1 victory Friday.
Howard is hitless in 16 at-bats with eight strikeouts, and owns a .173 average against lefties.
"Right now he's uncomfortable and he's not seeing (lefties) good,'' manager Charlie Manuel said. "It's just a matter of him getting his swing back and getting in a good groove."
The Dodgers' bid for their first seven-game win streak in nine years failed Friday. Capuano lasted 3 2-3 innings and was rocked for seven runs - six over the first two frames.
The 15-run losing margin was the largest for the Dodgers since 1947 - when they were still in Brooklyn.
"This one here, you take a beating and you get ready to play tomorrow," manager Don Mattingly said.
Delmon Young had a career-high six RBIs and Michael Young collected four hits after Manuel gave him a day off in the series opener. Philadelphia finished with a season-high 21 hits and emphatically scored in double digits for the first time all year.
"We've been talking about trying to generate some momentum offensively as a team and producing the way we're all capable of doing," Michael Young said. "I mean, you never expect something like this, but we expect to go out and have good at-bats and play solid fundamental baseball.''
Chase Utley has hit safely in seven straight games, going 9 for 21 on this road trip and 5 for 8 in this series.
Ramirez returned to the Dodgers lineup Friday after he did not start the opener and went 1 for 3. He's batting .472 during a 10-game hitting streak.