Facing Roy Halladay likely will not make it easy for the San Diego Padres to end their lengthy home drought against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Halladay seeks his second 4-0 start in three years Saturday night as the Phillies try to extend their winning streak at Petco Park to 14 games.
Halladay (3-0, 1.17 ERA) has allowed three runs and struck out 14 while going at least seven innings in each of his first three outings. He gave up season highs of two runs, seven hits and three walks while fanning six over eight innings in a 5-2 win at San Francisco on Monday. Opponents are batting .304 against him his first time through the lineup, but just .121 thereafter.
"All three starts of the year I've just felt better later on," Halladay told the Phillies' official website. "Once I get going, I feel like I get in a rhythm and I'm repeating better. I'm working on trying to do a better job of that early in the game. ... It's not that it's not there. It's just not consistent."
He also added an RBI single Monday for his second hit of the season.
"He's really intense, man,'' Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "And he's really into it. And he puts a lot into it. But at the same time, too, he also realizes what he has to do.''
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA in three career starts versus San Diego. Halladay allowed one run and struck out a season-high 14 in 8 2-3 innings of a 3-1 win in his first appearance at Petco Park last April 24.
With victories in the first two games of this series, Philadelphia (7-7) has extended the majors' longest active road winning streak at any park to 13. Juan Pierre's two-run single highlighted a three-run seventh in Friday's 4-1 win for the Phillies, who have outscored the Padres 51-17 during their streak in San Diego.
The Phillies are 24-4 at Petco since it opened in 2004, with their last loss an 8-3 defeat Aug. 16, 2008.
"I think you just find a way," Friday's winning pitcher Cole Hamels said. "I think we've just been able to do really well.''
Signed to a minor league contract in the offseason, Pierre is batting .316 with four RBIs in his first year with the Phillies.
Shane Victorino, who homered Friday, is 4 for 7 in the first two games of this weekend's four-game set. He's 11 for 25 (.440) with two home runs and four RBIs in his last seven contests versus San Diego.
Jesus Guzman had an RBI groundout to score Friday's lone run for the Padres (3-12), who are 3 for 24 with runners in scoring position during a four-game skid.
"Our guys have to come through at a better rate than we are now," manager Bud Black told the team's official website. "When we have opportunities, we have to cash in."
Scheduled San Diego starter Cory Luebke (1-1, 3.71) hopes to help the Padres end both losing streaks and build on his last start. He allowed one run in seven innings of a 7-1 win at Colorado on Monday, earning the club's last victory.
"Cory's a guy that we have a lot of faith in, not only now, but moving forward," Black told said.
The left-hander gave up three runs in five innings of a 3-1 road loss in his only previous start versus Philadelphia last July 22.