Josh Johnson set to battle Phillies
After snapping a lengthy skid to an NL East rival, the Philadelphia Phillies have a chance for their longest win streak in nearly three weeks.
The Phillies, though, might need a better performance from Kyle Kendrick if they want to earn their third straight win Tuesday night against a slumping Miami Marlins lineup.
Philadelphia (53-62) ended a five-game losing streak to Miami with Monday's 4-0 win and pushed the Marlins' scoreless streak to 18 innings.
Miami (52-64) has been outscored 23-10 and is batting .187 in five games since a 13-0 rout of the New York Mets on Wednesday.
The Phillies, meanwhile, are on the verge of their first three-game win streak since a run of four consecutive victories July 22-25.
Kendrick (4-9, 4.86 ERA) will try to help his team get there while hoping to bolster his chances of staying in the rotation. The right-hander didn't help himself by giving up six runs, seven hits and three walks over 3 1-3 innings of a 12-6 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.
After the game, Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel wouldn't commit to giving Kendrick another start but said Friday that there's a "good chance" the right-hander would stay in the rotation for at least the near future.
Kendrick is 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA in his two starts since rejoining the rotation after Joe Blanton was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 3.
"I guess that's how it is with me. It's been, 'What have you done for me lately?'" Kendrick told the team's website. "You always want to pitch good. I've said that before. Yeah, it was a bad outing."
Judging by his recent starts against Miami, Kendrick might have a better performance Tuesday.
Kendrick is 4-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his last five starts against the Marlins and gave up two runs over 5 1-3 innings during a 6-4 home win June 1. He's also 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA over his last three starts in Miami, the most recent on July 6, 2011.
Kendrick, though, will have to pitch opposite Josh Johnson (7-8, 3.88), who is 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA over his last four games. The Marlins' right-hander, though, is coming off a 6-1 loss to the New York Mets on Thursday in which he allowed three runs over six innings.
Johnson gave up a season-high six runs to Philadelphia during a 7-1 road loss April 11 but allowed only one run over six frames in a 6-2 win at Marlins Park on June 29. He's yielded one run in each of his last three home starts against the Phillies.
Johnson is expected to throw to Rob Brantly in Tuesday's game. The catcher, acquired July 23 in the deal that sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit, is set to make his major league debut against Philadelphia.
"There's going to be a lot of excitement, maybe a little butterflies, but I'm just trying to take it as business as usual," Brantly told the team's website.
Jimmy Rollins has a chance to pass Larry Bowa for most games played at shortstop in Phillies history on Tuesday with 1,731.