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Preview: Jimenez Vs Kendrick As Phillies Host Rockies

(Sports Network) – Less than 24 hours after facing a former Cy Young Award winner, the Colorado Rockies march out their own 2010 candidate when they face the Philadelphia Phillies in the second of four games at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies took the opener Friday when staff ace Roy Halladay turned in eight scoreless innings and Raul Ibanez drove in three runs in a 6-0 victory.

Halladay (11-8) picked up his first win since July 5, holding the visitors to five hits while striking out nine and walking just one.

Ross Gload hit a two-run homer while Jayson Werth drove in a run and Jimmy Rollins collected two hits and scored twice for the Phillies, who have won two in a row and scored more runs than in their previous three games combined in the debut of new hitting coach Greg Gross.

After the Phillies scored just four runs in the final three games of a series against St. Louis, Milt Thompson was fired and Gross brought back into the fold. The 57-year-old had been hitting coach under former manager Larry Bowa from 2002-04.

Aaron Cook (4-6) allowed nine hits and five runs over 4 1/3 innings in the setback for the Rockies, who have lost three in a row and seven of nine.

Colorado sends first-half phenomenon Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound in search of his 16th win in 17 decisions this afternoon.

The 26-year-old began his season with six straight wins – including an April 17 no-hitter – before dropping a 2-0 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 9. He’s rattled off nine straight wins since then, including a 4-2 defeat of St. Louis on July 8 in which he gave up three hits and a run in eight innings.

He was touched for six hits and six runs in just 5 1/3 innings of his last start – a no-decision on July 19 against Florida – and has failed to go beyond six innings in four of his last five starts, after pitching more than six in 10 of his initial 14 outings.

Jimenez is winless in two career matchups with the Phillies, allowing 14 hits and nine runs in 10 innings.

For Philadelphia, 25-year-old Kyle Kendrick faces the Rockies for the second time this season. The former seventh-round draft pick – 2003 – got a no- decision in a May 10 start in Denver after allowing eight hits and four runs in six innings. Kendrick is 1-1 with a 5.93 earned run average in five career starts against Colorado, allowing 40 hits and 18 runs in 27 1/3 innings.

Kendrick, who was sent to Triple-A on Tuesday, is winless overall since a complete-game defeat of Pittsburgh on July 3, going 0-1 while giving up 11 hits and eight runs in 12 2/3 innings since.

Though Colorado and Philadelphia split a two-game series in May, the Phillies have won 12 of the last 15 matchups between the clubs.