(Sports Network) – Roy Halladay gets to see what all the fuss is about with the Philadelphia Phillies and their recent success at Petco Park when he tries to pitch his club to a four-game sweep of the Padres this afternoon.
The Phillies have to like their odds at breaking out the brooms with the NL’s reigning Cy Young Award winner set to take the hill on Easter Sunday. The Phils have won 10 in a row at Petco Park, a place where Halladay has yet to pitch in his career, and are 14-1 in the past 15 games at the Padres.
Philadelphia sports an all-time record of 21-4 in Petco Park and recorded its fourth straight win with Saturday’s 4-2 victory in 11 innings thanks to Ryan Howard’s two-RBI double in the top of the frame that snapped a 2-2 tie. Howard had struck out four times in his previous at-bats and came through in the clutch.
“I just tried to stay with it the whole game,” said Howard. “You know, four strikeouts in four at-bats you can get down on yourself but if you stay with it you can come through.”
Jimmy Rollins drove in a run and scored twice, Ben Francisco collected two hits and an RBI and starting pitcher Joe Blanton lasted seven innings, allowing two runs and eight hits in the no-decision. After scoreless innings from relievers Danys Baez and Antonio Bastardo, winning pitcher Kyle Kendrick hurled an unblemished 10th before Ryan Madson closed the door in the bottom of the 11th inning for his second save.
Coming off his worst outing of the season, Halladay looks to regroup in just his second career start against the Padres. Halladay was pounded for six runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 9-0 loss versus Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Halladay struck out a season low three batters and matched a season high with a pair of walks, falling to 2-1 in four starts and raising his earned run average from 1.23 to 2.83. The righty was victorious in his only road start of the season on April 13 at Washington and hasn’t faced San Diego since a 3-2 win back on June 4 of last year. He held the Padres to two runs on 10 hits over seven innings with seven strikeouts in that one.
The Phils will resume their road swing with three games in Arizona following this weekend’s set in southern California.
San Diego matched a season high with its third straight loss last night, as Jason Bartlett and Nick Hundley had an RBI apiece. Cameron Maybin had two hits and two runs scored for the Padres, losers in five of six games.
Chad Qualls was charged for the loss for leaving two runners on in the 11th inning before Cory Luebke surrendered Howard’s eventual game-winning hit in the top of the frame. Padres manager Bud Black opted to intentionally walk Rollins and settle with Howard, but the idea backfired.
“There was some history with Qualls and Rollins and I liked the matchup with Howard better,” said Black. “It didn’t work out for us this time.”
Tim Stauffer started for Black’s ballclub and did not record a decision, allowing a pair of runs in six innings with seven strikeouts. The Friars will welcome Atlanta to Petco Park for three games following this weekend’s set with Philadelphia.
Wade LeBlanc is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Tucson to make this afternoon’s start versus the Phillies. LeBlanc, who had a 6.87 ERA after three starts with Tucson, was recalled on April 10 for pitching depth for a day and was sent back to the minors.
LeBlanc, a left-hander, won a career-best eight games (8-12) last season in 26 outings (25 starts) to go along with a 4.25 ERA. The Alabama product beat the Phillies in his only appearance against them on June 7, 2010 at Citizens Bank Park, where he delivered seven shutout innings in a 3-1 triumph.