(Sports Network) – Roy Halladay tries to extend the Philadelphia Phillies’ season-high win streak to seven games this evening when they continue their three-game set at Citizens Bank Park against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Halladay won for the first time in three starts on Friday against Colorado, as he held the Rockies to five hits over eight scoreless innings, while striking out nine to improve to 11-8 on the year to go along with a 2.28 earned run average.
“I thought we did a good job of mixing pitches,” Halladay said. “We did a good enough job of keeping them off balance.”
Halladay, who has completed at least six innings in all but one of his starts this season, had tossed nine scoreless innings without getting a decision in his previous start at home, where he is 7-4 on the year with a 1.71 ERA in 12 starts.
He has beaten the Diamondbacks both times he has faced them, while pitching to a 3.86 ERA.
The Phillies continued to gain ground in the National League East on Tuesday, as Ryan Howard finished 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, three RBI and two runs scored in a 9-5 win in the opener with Arizona.
“It was a see-saw game, but we felt pretty good,” said Howard. “We just felt like we’d win this game.”
Cody Ransom and Jayson Werth also both hit two-run blasts for the Phillies, who have also won nine straight at home. With Atlanta’s loss to Washington the Phils now trail the Braves by 3 1/2 games in the division.
David Herndon (1-2) gave up two runs and coughed up a lead during the sixth inning in relief of starter Cole Hamels but picked up his first major-league win.
Philadelphia played the game without Jimmy Rollins, who fouled a pitch off his foot on Monday, and then lost Shane Victorino to a strained oblique. Rollins may miss this series, while Victorino could be headed towards the disabled list, paving the way for top-prospect Domonic Brown to be called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Mark Reynolds homered and drove in a pair, while Adam LaRoche and Stephen Drew knocked in a run apiece for the Diamondbacks, who have dropped five in a row.
Jordan Norberto (0-1) took the loss after being charged with two runs and two hits while not recording an out.
“We know we are playing a good club, a club that is hot,” said Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson. “We had opportunities, just didn’t convert them.”
Heading to the hill for the Diamondbacks this evening will be righty Edwin Jackson, who has lost his last three starts. Jackson was defeated by San Francisco on Friday, allowing six runs (four earned) and eight hits in six innings to fall to 6-9 on the season, while raising his ERA to 5.01.
Jackson has faced the Phillies nine times and is 3-4 against them with a 4.25 ERA.
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.