By Matt Leon

By Matt Leon

The Phillies continue to hang around in the National League East.

After taking two out of three from the Nationals over the weekend, the Phillies have pulled to within a game-and-a-half of first place in the division. The team in first place, Atlanta, has lost six straight, tightening up the entire division.

Now, the Phillies focus on some interleague play as they host the Toronto Blue Jays Monday night. The Phils and Jays play two games in South Philadelphia, then travel to Toronto for two more games on Wednesday and Thursday.

Kyle Kendrick will start the series opener for the Phillies. He is 0-2 this season with a 3.52 ERA. He hasn’t pitched since April 24th because of the two off-days and the rain-out last week, which shuffled up the Phillies rotation.

This will be Kendrick’s fourth career start against Toronto. He’s gone 0-1 with a 6.91 ERA in the first three.

The Blue Jays counter with LHP J.A. Happ. This will be his first start this season. He has a 4.15 ERA in limited work out of the bullpen. Of course, Happ began his career with the Phillies, going 14-5 in 47 games before being dealt to Houston in the Roy Oswalt trade in July of 2010. Since leaving the Phillies organization, Happ has gone 26-37 with a 4.77 ERA in 90 games.

Here’s the Phillies’ line-up for tonight’s series opener:

1. Ben Revere CF
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Chase Utley 2B
4. Marlon Byrd RF
5. Ryan Howard 1B
6. Carlos Ruiz C
7. John Mayberry LF
8. Jayson Nix 3B
9. Kyle Kendrick P

KYW’s Matt Leon spoke with Kevin Cooney, Phillies beat writer for the Bucks County Courier Times, about his thoughts on the squad to this point.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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