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Sun, Jun 12, 2011 - 1:35 PM ET
 

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Roy Oswalt hasn't been as dominant since returning from the disabled list, and a lack of support from the Philadelphia Phillies' offense isn't helping.

Facing the Chicago Cubs could resolve both of those issues.

Oswalt looks to snap a six-start winless drought when he and help the Phillies take three of four from the visiting Cubs in Sunday's series finale.

Oswalt (3-4, 3.05 ERA) went 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA and .179 opponent batting average in his first four starts of 2011, but hasn't been the same since injuring his lower back. The right-hander lost his final outing before landing on the DL, and is 0-3 with a .331 opponent batting average in five starts since his mid-May return.

However, Oswalt has also been burdened by a lack of offensive support, with the Phillies totaling six runs over his last six starts - plating two or fewer in each of them. It's the longest stretch without a win for Oswalt since he failed to record one for Houston in his first seven starts of 2009.

He allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings of a 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Oswalt could be in line for much better support Sunday. After losing the opener of the series 4-3, Philadelphia has won the last two 7-5 and 7-1.

Chase Utley homered and drove in four runs Saturday, while Shane Victorino had three hits including a double.

"He's a big part of our offense, a big part of our team,'' starter and winning pitcher Cliff Lee said of Utley. "He's an unbelievable player who works as hard as anyone and I expect him to get on a roll."

Lee and reliever Antonio Bastardo held the Cubs (25-38) to four hits as they lost for the 10th time in 12 games. They are averaging 3.0 runs and batting .230 over that stretch.

"All we can do is keep battling and we will," said Matt Garza, who took the loss Saturday. "Everybody's lacing them up and going out there to play hard. Everybody's pulling for each other. We'll get it turned around.''

Oswalt is 14-13 with a 3.82 ERA in 32 appearances against the Cubs - the only club that has defeated him more than eight times.

The Cubs will hand the ball to Doug Davis (0-5, 6.38), who struggled in a loss to Cincinnati on Tuesday, allowing four runs, seven hits and three walks in 4 1-3 innings of the 8-2 defeat.

Davis has failed to make it further beyond the fifth inning in four of his five starts.

The left-hander, who is winless since a victory for Milwaukee over the Dodgers on May 5, 2010, is 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA in eight career starts against the Phillies, but hasn't faced them since 2009 with Arizona.

Ryan Howard is 3 for 8 with two home runs off Davis. Utley is 2 for 13.

Tagged: Cubs, Phillies, Doug Davis, Roy Oswalt, Chase Utley

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