Phillies-Cubs Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 15, 2012
Because of an injury to Vance Worley, the Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Kendrick will face the Chicago Cubs' Matt Garza for the second time this season. The first matchup went in favor of Chicago, which isn't surprising considering Garza's success against Philadelphia. Garza has a terrific history against the Phillies heading into Wednesday night's opener of a two-game set at Wrigley Field. Worley will not make the trip to Chicago (15-21) due to arm soreness, with Kendrick (0-3, 7.32 ERA) taking his place. That seems to be a break for the Cubs considering Worley is 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA in his last five outings, while Kendrick has gone 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in three 2012 starts - the last one coming May 4. One of those outings was April 29 at Citizens Bank Park as Kendrick allowed three runs over six innings in a 5-1 loss to the Cubs. Garza (2-1, 2.56) outdueled him by striking out a season-high 10 batters and yielding one hit over seven scoreless innings. "I just stuck to the game plan, keep them off balance and try to get popups or ground balls," Garza said. Garza improved to 2-1 with a 0.96 ERA in four career regular-season starts against Philadelphia (18-19). The right-hander's poorest outing against the Phillies came in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series when he surrendered four runs over six innings in a 5-4 defeat for Tampa Bay. That Phillies lineup included stalwarts Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, who are out with injuries. Garza has enjoyed success against current regulars Jimmy Rollins (2 for 14), Placido Polanco (2 for 14) and Shane Victorino (1 for 11). Kendrick, meanwhile, is 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA against the Cubs in three career appearances - two starts. The only Chicago hitter with more than five at-bats against him is Ian Stewart, who is 3 for 13. The right-hander has a tough act to follow as the Phillies try to stretch their season-high win streak to four. Philadelphia starters own a 2.92 ERA for one of the majors' best marks, with each allowing one run during this win streak. The Phillies are looking to take advantage of another struggling NL Central team after sweeping two games at home from Houston. Hunter Pence hit his second homer of the game in the bottom of the 10th inning of Tuesday's 4-3 victory to atone for an error in the ninth that allowed the Astros to tie it. "I felt horrible that it happened," Pence said. "The team really picked me up." Pence has five hits - no homers - in his last 32 at-bats against Chicago. This was the longest stretch of games (37) into a season without a three-game win streak for the Phillies since 1971, when they needed 51 games. These teams split four games April 27-30, with Cubs slugger Bryan LaHair going 7 for 15 with a homer and four doubles. Ty Wigginton was the hitting star in that series for the Phillies, going 5 for 13 with a homer. The Cubs completed a 2-3 road trip with Tuesday's 7-6 defeat in St. Louis as Alfonso Soriano went deep for the first time. They have won six of nine at home.
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