Preview: Phillies Go For Sweep Over Diamondbacks

(Sports Network) – While the Philadelphia Phillies wait for Roy Oswalt to approve a trade to them, they will shoot for a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight at Citizens Bank Park.

According to multiple reports, the Phillies and Houston Astros have a deal in place that would send Oswalt to the two-time defending National League champions. The only thing standing in the way is Oswalt, who must waive his no-trade clause.

With or without Oswalt, the Phillies are the hottest team in baseball right now. They won their seventh straight game on Wednesday, as prized prospect Domonic Brown stroked an RBI double on his first major league swing and Roy Halladay tossed his major league-leading eighth complete game of the season in Philadelphia’s 7-1 win.

One of the most heralded prospects in baseball, Brown was summoned from Triple-A Lehigh Valley after the Phillies disabled center fielder Shane Victorino, who suffered a left abdominal strain during Tuesday’s series opener.

The 22-year-old Brown was in the starting lineup for his big league debut, playing right field, and narrowly missed hitting a home run in his first at- bat in the second inning. He went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and scored two runs.

Carlos Ruiz doubled twice and knocked in three runs for the Phillies, who have won 10 straight at home.

“It’s obviously been a lot more fun,” Halladay said. “I think it’s important we carry it on the road. We seem to play well at home here lately and we need to carry it over.”

Philadelphia remains 3 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East standings after the Braves beat Washington on Wednesday.

Miguel Montero’s two-out RBI double in the ninth inning spoiled the shutout bid for Halladay (12-8), who recorded nine strikeouts and did not issue a walk.

Arizona’s Edwin Jackson (6-10) gave up five runs on eight hits and walked two in five-plus innings to absorb the loss, the sixth in a row for the Diamondbacks.

Heading to the hill for the Phils tonight will be righty Kyle Kendrick, who is 6-4 with a 4.60 ERA. Kendrick beat the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, holding them to a run and six hits in seven innings.

Kendrick will be making his fourth start against the D-Backs, but has yet to record a decision against them while pitching to a 6.23 ERA.

Arizona, meanwhile, will counter with newly-acquired lefty Joe Saunders, who was picked up from the Angels in the recent Dan Haren deal. Saunders, an All- Star in 2008, has hit a rough patch in 2010, having gone 6-10 with a 4.62 ERA that’s considerably higher than his career 4.29 mark.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Saunders. “It’s going to be fun to go out there with my new club and pitch. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m anxious to get out there.”

Saunders has pitched well against the National League, going 6-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 11 starts that includes a win in his only other matchup against the Phillies.

The Diamondbacks took two of three from Philly earlier in the year, but the Phils are 8-3 in their last 11 against Arizona and 26-16 against the D-backs since the 2004 season.

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