With their offense possibly awoken, the Philadelphia Phillies are hoping to parlay a win over the St. Louis Cardinals into more success.
The sturdy Cliff Lee should give them a chance to do so as he takes the mound Saturday night against the visiting Cardinals.
Philadelphia's 8-2 win Friday in the second of a four-game set snapped a four-game slide. Though it was shortened by rain after 6 1/2 innings, that came well after the batting order provided more than enough offense for the Phillies (7-10).
Granted, they received some help with a throwing error by St. Louis' Ty Wigginton, leading to four unearned runs in the first inning. But Philadelphia, which finished with five runs total off of Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia in the opening frame, would take any production it could find after its bats had recently gone quiet.
The Phillies went four games without drawing a walk before Chase Utley ignited the first-inning onslaught with a two-out walk.
Philadelphia totaled seven runs over the four straight losses, recording six hits or fewer three times. The Phillies also hadn't scored a run earlier than the sixth inning over the previous seven games, but all of Friday's eight runs - which tied a season high - came before the end of the third.
Roy Halladay threw a complete game in the win, enjoying the ample run support. Philadelphia starters pitched at least seven innings while allowing three runs or fewer on three occasions during the four-game skid, but the team's offense hung them out to dry until Friday.
"It's a big difference with a nice lead," Halladay said. "You can be aggressive and attack hitters."
Lee (2-0, 1.52) ERA) will likely take a similar approach as he carries a streak of 20 starts with at least six innings while issuing no more than one walk. He limited Cincinnati to two runs on five hits over seven innings in his last start, though Philadelphia took a 4-2 loss as its bullpen faltered.
"That's baseball," said Lee, 3-2 with a 2.44 ERA in six outings against St. Louis. "It happens."
Defense generally hadn't been an issue for the Cardinals (9-7), as Wigginton's mishap was the club's eighth error. Even then, St. Louis' offense allowed little chance for a comeback, with the only runs coming on solo homers by Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.
"He just couldn't make the throw," manager Mike Matheny said. "But we've got to be able to pick each other up when we make mistakes."
Lance Lynn (2-0, 5.40) received plenty of support in his last start. He yielded four runs and seven hits over five innings against Pittsburgh on Monday, still good enough for a win in a 10-6 victory.
"I wish I could have went deeper, but when you have a 10-run lead you're just trying to get quick outs and not have long innings and I wasn't able to do that," Lynn said. "That was the most frustrating part."
The righty has been inconsistent to start the year, as he limited Cincinnati's potent lineup to one run in six innings in his previous outing.
He didn't fare well in his only career outing against Philadelphia, giving up four runs and four hits over five innings in an 8-7 loss on Aug. 12.
Allen Craig is 3 for 7 off of Lee with two doubles while Holliday is 4 for 12 with four RBIs and six walks.
Michael Young owns a 10-game hitting streak for the Phillies, going 13 for 34 (.382) over that span.
The Associated Press News Service
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