(Sports Network) – One run was enough for the Phillies to win Friday’s opener with the Athletics, but they couldn’t escape another poor offensive showing last night.
Instead, a series victory will be on the line this afternoon when Philadelphia and Oakland conclude what has been a pitching-dominated three-game set at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia emerged with a 1-0 win on Friday when Ben Francisco hit a pinch- hit single to plate a run in the bottom of the ninth. The Phillies then struck first on Saturday on Carlos Ruiz’s run-scoring single in the second frame, but the Athletics slowly chipped away en route to a 4-1 victory that halted their three-game losing streak.
Adam Rosales homered and Scott Sizemore drove in the go-ahead run in the fourth inning. Those runs were enough to get starter Trevor Cahill his eighth victory of the season after he allowed just the one run on three hits and three walks over 7 2/3 innings. Andrew Bailey was brought in to record the final four outs and worked out of a jam in the ninth to earn the save.
“It seemed like right when he hit 100 pitches, [Cahill] lost his control a little bit,” said A’s interim manager Bob Melvin.
Cole Hamels also pitched well before ultimately being denied his 10th victory of the season. The Phillies lefty was charged with two runs over eight innings of work.
“It’s nice to go eight innings, but I wish I could be more precise,” Hamels said.
With the teams having combined so far for a mere six runs, that number may not see a big increase today with former Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay set to counter streaking Oakland starter Josh Outman.
Halladay takes a third stab at his 10th victory of the season and would become the fourth pitcher in baseball and second in the National League to reach the double-digit mark.
Halladay has earned consecutive no-decisions following three straight winning starts. He gave up four runs over seven innings versus the Marlins on June 15, then scattered a run on four hits and two walks in six frames of work versus the Cardinals on Tuesday. The right-hander was lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh inning with Philadelphia trailing by a run, and the Phillies eventually captured a 10-2 victory following a nine-run eighth inning.
Though he probably could have pitched longer, Halladay understood why he was taken out of the game.
“That’s part of the National League and definitely part of what makes it different,” he said. “I would have loved to stay, but you have to take a chance there to at least try to tie the game.”
The 34-year-old remained at 9-3 through 16 starts with a 2.51 earned run average, though the Phils have won his last seven outings. Halladay is 6-4 with a 4.54 ERA in 13 career starts when facing the Athletics.
Meanwhile, Outman, a former Phillies farmhand, seeks a third straight winning start in today’s finale.
Outman, drafted by the Phillies in 2005, has allowed just one earned run over his modest streak. The left-hander hurled seven scoreless innings to beat the Royals on June 15, then held the Mets to a pair of runs — one earned — on four hits and two walks over six frames of a 7-3 victory on Tuesday.
Outman, 26, improved to 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA in six starts this year, with five of those quality outings, and faces the Phillies for the first time.
The A’s, who entered the baseball world in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics, own a 6-5 edge in interleague baseball with the Phils, who took two of three in the only other meeting between the club’s in Philadelphia back in 2003.