Phillies-Padres Preview

The Philadelphia Phillies’ pitchers are rather comfortable at

Petco Park, but their road success against the San Diego Padres

predates the spacious stadium.

It has now become utter domination.

Joe Blanton will try to extend the Phillies’ stunning stretch of

31 consecutive shutout innings over the punchless Padres and

increase their winning streak in San Diego to 10 games Saturday

night.

Philadelphia (13-6) has taken 22 of the last 26 in San Diego

(8-12) with all but two of those wins coming at Petco, which opened

in 2004.

The staff has been a major reason for that domination, compiling

a 2.72 ERA over the last 26 road meetings. Starters have recorded a

0.98 ERA during a nine-game road winning streak.

In fact, Phillies hurlers haven’t allowed a run during a

31-inning stretch at Petco since Blanton gave up one in the fifth

inning of a 3-1 victory on Aug. 28. After a 3-0 win behind Roy

Oswalt and three relievers Thursday, Philadelphia came away with a

2-0 victory Friday thanks to eight sharp innings from Cole Hamels

against his hometown team.

Philadelphia leads the majors with five shutouts, while San

Diego has already been blanked six times, twice as many as any

other team.

“No matter when you face them, you are going to be in for it,”

Padres manager Bud Black said of the Phillies. “You have to be on

your game to score runs against these guys. Runs are hard to come

by.”

While Blanton (0-1, 7.27) has struggled early this season, he

has a 2.77 ERA while winning his past two starts at San Diego.

The right-hander allowed two runs in seven innings of Monday’s

6-3 loss in 12 to Milwaukee. He had surrendered 12 runs in 10 1-3

innings over his previous two starts.

“I felt a little better,” Blanton told the team’s official

website Monday. “I felt better from the stretch. I had a lot of

innings where I had to work out of it.”

Blanton will next face a Padres team that’s last in the majors

with a .214 average and at the bottom of the NL with 60 runs. San

Diego is hitting just .185 over the last 10 home meetings with the

Phillies.

Tim Stauffer (0-1, 3.27) will get the ball for the Padres, and

he’ll be looking for his teammates to produce at the plate.

The right-hander has received three runs of support through four

starts, and zero in the last two while posting a 1.59 ERA. His best

performance of the season came Monday when he tossed seven

scoreless innings, but San Diego fell 1-0 in 10 to the Chicago

Cubs.

“I felt much more comfortable,” Stauffer told the Padres’

official website. “For me, everything comes off the fastball. I

felt like I got the correct release point. I felt sharper and the

ball was moving like it has before.”

Stauffer is 0-1 with a 16.39 ERA in two starts against the

Phillies, but both came at Philadelphia. He’s 2-2 with a 2.33 ERA

in his past seven starts at home.

Stauffer has struggled greatly versus Ryan Howard, who is 4 for

5 with two homers off him. Howard, a .352 hitter against San Diego,

had two hits with a two-run triple Friday.