Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 8/15/13
It has been decades since there's been a club as hot as the Los Angeles Dodgers. No team in baseball has been as bad as the Philadelphia Phillies over the last four weeks. The surging Dodgers look to keep rolling Friday night when they open a three-game road set against the woeful Phillies. NL West-leading Los Angeles (70-50) has gone a major league-best 40-8 since June 22, the franchise's best 48-game stretch in the modern era and the best in baseball since the 1942 Cardinals went 41-7 from Aug. 11-Oct. 1. Yasiel Puig has played a huge role in that success, posting a major league-best .368 average with 11 homers, 27 RBIs and 47 runs since getting called up June 3. Adrian Gonzalez, meanwhile, is 8 for 16 with runners in scoring position this month. "I can't explain what's happening here, but it's fun," manager Don Mattingly told MLB's official website. "Puig's been great, Adrian, too. It's been a team thing. There have been contributions from different guys in all different areas, all over the field, from the bench to the bullpen to the back end of the game to the middle of the game." Puig and Gonzalez delivered back-to-back doubles in the 12th inning as Los Angeles came back to beat the New York Mets 5-4 on Wednesday. The Dodgers have outscored opponents 51-21 during an eight-game winning streak, their longest since a nine-game run May 9-18, 2010. "It's on par for what's going on with this team," said Andre Ethier, who hit a pinch-hit game-tying two-run homer in the ninth. "It's not the same hero every night. It's someone different stepping up when they're name is called. It's a nice sign." Philadelphia (53-67), in contrast, has hit .218 and compiled a 5.12 ERA in going a major league-worst 4-19 since July 20. The Phillies return home after getting outscored 33-16 during a 1-5 road trip. Starter John Lannan allowed five runs in 1 1-3 innings before leaving with a knee injury in Wednesday's 6-3 loss to Atlanta. Despite getting a six-hitter from Cole Hamels in Monday's 5-1 win at Turner Field, Philadelphia's starters recorded a 7.04 ERA during the team's trek. "We're definitely capable," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We get a good-pitched game and we hold them early we can still win some games. As a matter of fact, we should win some games. If our starting pitching gets going right, I think we're very capable of winning some games." Scheduled starter Cliff Lee (10-5, 3.18 ERA) has recently had a rough go, posting an 0-3 record and a 5.63 ERA in his last four starts. The left-hander surrendered three runs in six innings but didn't receive a decision in Saturday's 8-5 loss at Washington. Lee, 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA in six career starts versus Los Angeles, will be opposed by fellow Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke (10-3, 3.21). The right-hander has looked every bit like one of the best pitchers in the game over his last 10 starts, going 7-1 with a 2.49 ERA. "Everyone is playing good, I'm just feeding off the energy," he said. "For the most part, I'm executing pitches and all of them are a lot sharper." Greinke had everything working again Saturday, scattering six hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 5-0 victory over Tampa Bay. "Zack is one of the best pitchers in the league, and he showed why," Gonzalez said. Greinke allowed four runs and a season-high 12 hits in seven innings in a 6-4 win over the Phillies on June 27. The Dodgers have taken eight of 11 from the Phillies, including four straight at Citizens Bank Park.
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