Coming off their first sweep in two months, the Philadelphia Phillies are hoping to see their success carry over.
They’ll try to stay hot against the Chicago Cubs, who enter Friday night’s series opener at Citizens Bank Park with the worst road record in baseball.
Philadelphia (28-36) is on the verge of its longest winning streak of the season after taking all three matchups against lowly San Diego by a 15-5 margin. The Phillies, who had previously dropped eight of nine, haven’t won four in a row since a five-game run last June 2-6.
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After hitting a walkoff home run in Wednesday’s 3-0 victory, Reid Brignac delivered a pinch-hit tiebreaking two-run double in the sixth inning Thursday as Philadelphia won 7-3. First baseman John Mayberry added some insurance with a three-run blast in the seventh, finishing 3 for 4 with three extra-base hits.
"It’s definitely a game of momentum and I think with the way we’ve played these last few games, that can definitely carry over," Mayberry said. "I think from top to bottom, we’ve pitched well, had timely hitting and played good defense. Hopefully we can continue."
The Cubs (26-38) have followed a season-best five-game winning streak by dropping four of five. Chicago fell to 1-3 on its 10-game road trip after losing 4-0 at Pittsburgh on Thursday. Luis Valbuena and Darwin Barney each had two hits but the team went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
The Cubs, hitting .208 while averaging 2.7 runs during a 2-7 slide away from home, are 11-24 as the visiting club.
Chicago gives the ball to Jake Arrieta (1-1, 2.50 ERA), who allowed three hits and struck out a season best-tying seven over six scoreless innings in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Marlins. While the right-hander has posted a 0.56 ERA at home, he went 1-1 with a 4.05 mark in four road starts last month.
Arrieta gave up one run and three hits over 6 2-3 innings to beat the Phillies 7-1 on Sept. 1. In his only other appearance against Philadelphia, he surrendered career highs of nine runs and 11 hits over four innings in a 9-6 defeat with Baltimore on June 8, 2012.
The Phillies counter with Roberto Hernandez (2-4, 4.35), who’s gone 0-3 with a 5.06 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in four starts since rejoining the rotation May 23. The right-hander has struck out 14 and walked 14 in those outings while receiving a combined four runs of support.
Hernandez labored through four innings in Saturday’s 6-5 loss at Cincinnati, yielding four runs, four hits and three walks.
"It is a little frustrating not to pitch deeper in the game," he said after throwing just 80 pitches. "I tried to keep the ball down, but there were too many 2-0, 3-1 counts."
Hernandez allowed two runs over 5 1-3 innings in a 7-2 victory at Wrigley Field on April 4 to win his only start against the Cubs. The Phillies took two of three in that series.
Valbuena is hitting an NL-best .390 with 13 extra-base hits over a 23-game stretch since May 13. Chicago could be without Emilio Bonifacio, who left Thursday’s game with a rib injury.