The Phillies and Rockies enter the series with nearly identical marks as they get set for their final series before the All-Star break. Tonight's game starts at 9:05 p.m. ET.
Preview: Good luck picking this series. The records are about even (Phillies 43-42; Rockies 42-43). The Phils are .500 on the road. The Rockies are better at home (24-18). The pitching match-ups setup evenly, although tonight looks like advantage Rox. Jeff Francis (8-5, 3.68 ERA) has asserted himself as one of the National League’s best young pitchers. The left-hander will put a four-game unbeaten streak on the line, going 3-0 with a 2.62 ERA during that span. Right-hander Kyle Kendrick (3-0, 4.38 ERA), the subject of a very nice feature on Phillies.com, has been a welcome surprise for the Phils and will put his own four-game unbeaten streak on the line. His last start against the Mets, the 22-year-old right-hander forced 14 ground outs, including three for double plays, all while nursing a pulled groin muscle he suffered during his start in Cleveland. Kendrick told Phillies.com he should be ready for tonight's game.
Tis the season for aches and pains; he isn’t the only dinged up player. Antonio Alfonseca has a sore ankle. Carlos Ruiz has a sore muscle above his right knee and is expected to sit out tonight. Aaron Rowand has been nursing a sore right thumb he jammed in a game against the Mets.
Best of the press notes: Shane Victorino has stolen 25-consecutive bases without being caught, the longest streak in the majors. Michael Bourn has stolen 13-consecutive bags, which leads all NL rookies. The Phillies are averaging 5.2 runs-per-game on the road, second highest in the National League.