Phillies-Giants Preview

Philadelphia’s Vance Worley was stellar in his first career

start against San Francisco last week. The rookie right-hander

hopes to be just as effective when he faces the Giants near his

hometown this time.

The Sacramento native looks to help the Phillies to a

season-high eighth consecutive victory Friday night against the

Giants at AT&T Park.

After Cliff Lee tossed a seven-hitter in Philadelphia’s 3-0 win

over San Francisco on Thursday, Worley (7-1, 2.33 ERA) looks to

continue his recent success while pitching less than two hours from

where he was born and raised.

Worley is 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA in eight starts – all Philadelphia

wins – since losing to the Mets on May 29. However, the

right-hander is coming off his worst performance in that span,

giving up four runs and seven hits in six innings of a 6-5,

10-inning win over Pittsburgh on Sunday.

That came one start after he tossed his first complete game by

holding San Francisco to three hits in a 7-2 win July 26.

“He has good stuff,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He throws

quality strikes, pounds the strike zone.”

Lee had great stuff while striking out eight to put the

NL-leading Phillies (72-39) in position to win eight straight for

the first time since an 11-game run Sept. 12-24. Philadelphia has

won just five times in 14 regular-season and playoff games at

AT&T Park.

“We just want to win every series,” Lee said. “Getting the first

game means you’re in better shape. We want to stay in a groove and

keep winning.”

Hunter Pence had three hits Thursday, including the first of

back-to-back homers with John Mayberry in the second inning. Pence

is batting .360 with five RBIs in six games since the Phillies

acquired him from Houston last Friday.

“He has come in and fit in nicely,” teammate Ryan Howard said.

“He gives us energy and intensity. He’s been great for our

team.”

While Philadelphia has won 13 of 16 to open an 8 1/2-game lead

in the East, San Francisco (62-50) has averaged 2.3 runs while

dropping six of seven and is clinging to a half-game edge over

Arizona in the West.

The Giants were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position

Thursday and are batting .176 in those situations over the past 14

games.

“(Thursday we) battled well and got some guys on base,” Bochy

said. “We just couldn’t get a hit to drive in somebody.”

Carlos Beltran doubled in the opener and is batting .400 in the

past five games after going 1 for 14 in his first three after being

acquired from the Mets. He’s 9 for 43 (.209) against the Phillies

in 2011.

Jonathan Sanchez (4-5, 3.81) looks to help the Giants bounce

back Friday as he returns after missing six weeks with tendinitis

in his left biceps. Sanchez last pitched in the majors June 24 and

hasn’t started anywhere since going six innings for Triple-A Fresno

on July 27 as he allowed two runs, seven hits and three walks.

The left-hander is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in five regular-season

starts against the Phillies but went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two NL

championship series starts in 2010. Sanchez started the Giants’

Game 6 clincher at Philadelphia and hit Chase Utley in the back,

prompting the Phillies second baseman to flip his bat toward the

mound and causing the benches to empty.

Pence is 1 for 6 versus Sanchez.