PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillies have now won a season high four straight games and tonight they will try to extend that streak to five as they continue their series in St. Louis.
The Phillies are still five games under .500 at 33-38, but in a National League East that can’t get out of its own way, they have moved to within four games of first place Washington.
A big reason for this recent surge, the red hot bat of Ryan Howard. The first baseman has gone 7 for 17 (.412) in the first four games of this road trip with 3 home runs, 5 runs scored and 9 RBI.
A.J. Burnett gets the start for the Phillies in this one. The veteran right-hander is 4-6 this season with a 4.17 ERA. Last time out he threw good baseball, allowing 3 runs in 8 innings of work against the Cubs, but he suffered a 3-0 loss. In his career against St. Louis, Burnett has made 17 starts, going 8-6 with a 4.11 ERA.
The Cardinals will counter with LHP Jaime Garcia who is 3-0 with a 3.72 ERA. He got a late start on the season due to shoulder issues. In 8 career regular season appearances against the Phillies, Garcia is 2-3 with a 2.77 ERA.
Phillies line-up tonight versus the lefty Garcia:
1. Jimmy Rollins SS
2. Carlos Ruiz C
3. Chase Utley 2B
4. Ryan Howard 1B
5. Marlon Byrd RF
6. Domonic Brown LF
7. John Mayberry CF
8. Cody Asche 3B
9. A.J. Burnett P
KYW’s Matt Leon spoke with Stephen Gross of the Allentown Morning Call about this Phillies hot streak and tonight’s match-up with the Cardinals.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.