Phillies-Padres Preview

Already accustomed to dominating the San Diego Padres on the

road, the Philadelphia Phillies have to like their chances with Roy

Halladay on the mound.

The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner makes his first start at

Petco Park on Sunday as the Phillies try to sweep the Padres and

extend their winning streak in San Diego to 11 games.

Philadelphia (14-6) has won 10 straight at Petco, including the

first three of this four-game set. Ryan Howard’s two-run double in

the 11th inning Saturday lifted the Phillies to a 4-2 victory. They

haven’t lost in San Diego since Aug. 16, 2008.

Halladay (2-1, 2.83 ERA) will try to keep it that way, but he’ll

need to rebound from his worst performance of the season.

The right-hander was tagged for season highs of six runs and 10

hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 9-0 loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday. The

six runs doubled the total the right-hander had yielded over his

first three outings of the season.

“You try and evaluate, not always based on results,” Halladay

told the Phillies’ official website. “I think there were six

ground-ball hits (Tuesday). Some days, those hits are right where

guys are playing. Other days, they aren’t.”

Halladay won his only career start against the Padres (8-13),

allowing two runs and striking out seven in seven innings of a 3-2

Phillies home victory June 4. He may fare even better in spacious

Petco Park, where the Phillies own a 1.33 staff ERA during their

10-game winning streak.

Howard has feasted on San Diego pitching, hitting .347 with nine

homers and 49 RBIs in 41 career meetings. His clutch hit Saturday

came after Jimmy Rollins was intentionally walked – likely because

Howard had struck out in each of his previous four at-bats.

“I’m just trying to take it and use it as motivation. Glad I

came through,” Howard said.

The Padres have struggled to come through at the plate in this

series, scoring two runs while batting .168. Their .214 average on

the season is a major-league low, and they’ve been shut out three

times in their last six games – twice by the Phillies.

San Diego third baseman Chase Headley appears to be healthy

enough to return to the lineup after an illness reduced him to one

hit in two at-bats as a pinch-hitter over the last two games. He’s

1 for 14 in his last six contests.

“Chase is kind of on the back side of this sickness,” manager

Bud Black told the Padres’ official website. “We expect him to be

back out there (Sunday). He should be 100 percent, but he’s not

quite there now.”

Headley is 0 for 4 with two strikeouts against Halladay.

The Padres are expected to recall Wade LeBlanc from Triple-A

Tucson in order to make his season debut in a spot start.

The left-hander, who went 8-12 with a 4.25 ERA last season, has

no decisions and a 6.87 ERA in three minor-league starts in

2011.

LeBlanc, however, tossed seven scoreless innings while

scattering four hits in a 3-1 victory at Philadelphia on June

7.