Reds-Phillies Preview

The Philadelphia Phillies’ pitching staff includes established

stars like former World Series MVP Cole Hamels and Cy Young Award

winners Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, but arguably the team’s most

consistent starter has never won more than 11 games in his

career.

Kyle Kendrick looks to win a fifth straight decision while

helping Philadelphia to its fifth victory in six tries as it hosts

the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

The Phillies’ starting rotation has posted a 4.16 ERA as Hamels

(1-6, 4.61 ERA) has gotten off to a slow start along with Halladay

(2-4, 8.65), who had arthroscopic shoulder surgery this week and

isn’t expected to throw again for nearly two months.

Though Lee pitched seven solid innings and lowered his ERA to

2.83 as the Phillies (20-22) beat the Reds 5-3 on Friday, it’s been

Kendrick (4-1, 2.47) who has shined the most.

Kendrick has posted a 1.84 ERA in seven outings since losing his

first start of the season, highlighted by a three-hit shutout over

the New York Mets on April 26. The right-hander has allowed two

runs and six hits in seven innings in each of his last two starts,

beating San Francisco 6-2 on May 7 before Philadelphia’s 4-2,

10-inning win over Arizona on Sunday.

The last time the Phillies lost when Kendrick started was April

16, when he allowed only two hits in seven shutout innings before

Jay Bruce’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth gave Cincinnati a

1-0 victory.

Kendrick has a 1.37 ERA in his last three starts versus the Reds

but no victories to show for it, getting three runs of support over

19 2-3 innings.

Philadelphia, which was outscored 16-4 during a three-game sweep

in Cincinnati from April 15-17, had enough offense in a 5-3 win

Friday as Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run homer to help end the Reds’

six-game winning streak.

Rollins, batting .118 (2 for 17) over his last five versus

Cincinnati, hit only the third home run in the last six games for

the Phillies as they’ve manufactured runs in other ways during

their hot stretch.

”When you talk about playing small ball, you have to have the

talent,” manager Charlie Manuel said.

Bruce and Joey Votto homered Friday for the Reds (25-17), who

lost for just the third time in 13 games. They’ll send Bronson

Arroyo to the mound Saturday as he seeks his third straight victory

over the Phillies.

Arroyo (3-4, 3.76) scattered five hits in 6 2-3 scoreless

innings of a 5-1 win over Milwaukee on Sunday, ending a three-start

losing streak during which he posted a 5.50 ERA.

”I didn’t have a whole lot of stuff,” said Arroyo, who was

feeling ill during his last outing. ”I was grinding from the first

inning on. I knew I was getting away with pitches that I normally

wouldn’t. Luckily, they were beating them into the ground.”

The right-hander had not won since giving up two runs in eight

innings of a 4-2 win over Philadelphia on April 15. Arroyo had the

same stat line to beat the Phillies 3-2 on Aug. 22 in his previous

start against them, ending a six-start regular-season skid versus

Philadelphia.