The Philadelphia Phillies are within striking distance of a wild-card spot after winning 12 of their last 16 games, but they know there’s little margin for error. The Phillies stand six games behind St. Louis for the second National League wild-card spot with 22 games to play heading into the three-game series against the Miami Marlins. Philadelphia moved two games under .500 for the first time since June 8 on Sunday with a doubleheader sweep of lowly Colorado. Catcher Carlos Ruiz appeared in his first game since Aug. 2 in the nightcap, going 2-for-2 with an RBI. Ruiz, who missed more than five weeks with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, will likely be eased back into action.
Miami’s postseason hopes faded long ago, but the Marlins looked sharp in taking two of three against the NL East-leading Washington Nationals over the weekend. Miami scored 21 runs in the three games, and right fielder Giancarlo Stanton homered in each of them. He’s hit 14 home runs since returning from the disabled list Aug. 7, and his 33 this season are just two short of the second-highest single season total in Marlins history. The Phillies are hoping to find a new source of power Monday when they promote Darin Ruf from Double-A Reading. The 26-year-old Ruf, who led the minor leagues with 38 regular-season home runs this season, will likely see time at first base and left field. Ruf was hitting .317 with 104 RBIs in the minors this year.
Marlins Phillies Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Monday, September 10, 2012
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FS Florida (Miami), CSN (Philadelphia)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins LH Wade LeBlanc (2-3, 2.72 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Kyle Kendrick (8-10, 3.96)
LeBlanc is 1-2 with a 3.51 ERA over his six starts this starts this season, including Tuesday against the Brewers when he allowed three runs in six innings. LeBlanc has switched between the rotation and bullpen throughout the year, his first with the Marlins after being traded from San Diego last November. He last faced the Phillies in April 2011, giving up three runs over eight innings.
Kendrick has dominated Miami over his last seven starts, going 7-0 with a 2.83 ERA with a 33-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio over that stretch. His four-start winning streak was snapped Tuesday against the Reds when he allowed two runs over six innings. Kendrick has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last five outings, going 4-1 with a 1.53 ERA over that span.
1. Marlins rookie INF Donovan Solano has gone 31-for-86 (.360) with 13 runs scored and 10 RBIs over his past 22 games.
2. The Phillies are 18-8 in their last 26 games at Citizens Bank Park.
3. The Marlins lead the season series 7-5 and have won six of the last eight meetings against the Phillies.