Inquirer Daily News

Phils eye a series win versus Giants

(Sports Network) - Both the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies are running out of time to get back into the National League's playoff race and that could lead to both clubs making some moves prior to Wednesday's non- waiver trade deadline.

After the event passes, the Giants and Phillies will meet on the field to resume a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park.

One season removed from their second World Series title in three years, the Giants sit 13 games under .500 (46-59) and 11 games out of first place in the NL West. They are another half-game back of the league's second wild card spot, a position the Phillies trail by eight games.

Philadelphia, at 50-56, is 11 1/2 games behind Atlanta for the top spot in the NL East and snapped a season-high eight-game slide with Tuesday's 7-3 winner in the opener.

Carlos Ruiz and Michael Young both hit two-run homers, with Ruiz going deep for the first time since Sept. 25.

The Phillies had won three in a row before their slide and played the first of nine in a row at home following a 1-8 road trip.

"It's been a while since we got a win," said Young. "It was nice to get it in front of the home crowd. They came out with some good energy and I think we fed off of that."

Young is one of a few Phillies who could be traded today, though not without a few hurdles that includes a full no-trade clause. Even if he isn't moved, Cody Asche, ranked the club's seventh-best prospect by MLB.com, is expected to get healthy playing time down the stretch at third base after being recalled from Triple-A on Tuesday.

Asche made his Major League debut as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, but popped out with a runner on third. He hit .295 with 15 homers and 68 RBI in 104 games at Triple-A this season and is expected to start tonight.

The Giants will also likely field some calls today, with outfielder Hunter Pence and reliever Javier Lopez getting interest.

San Francisco has lost five straight and eight of its past nine. And while the Phillies used the longball on Tuesday night to their advantage, the Giants have not gone deep in nine consecutive games.

"It's been frustrating getting through this tough stretch," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "We just can't get that next hit to keep the line moving and get the offense going."

It didn't help that star catcher Buster Posey was a scratch from Tuesday's lineup due to illness or that starter Barry Zito allowed four runs on five hits in just 3 1/3 innings.

Pablo Sandoval drove in a pair of runs for San Francisco.

Chad Gaudin takes the hill for the Giants coming off his first loss this season as a starter. That came last Wednesday versus the Cincinnati Reds, who tagged him for six runs on seven hits and five walks over 3 2/3 innings.

The right-handed Gaudin is 4-2 with a 2.77 earned run average in 26 games this season, including eight starts. He faced the Phillies in relief on May 6, throwing two scoreless innings.

Gaudin, 30, will make his first career start versus Philadelphia. He has allowed three runs over 13 1/3 innings in nine previous meetings without a decision.

The Phillies will start Kyle Kendrick and he was denied a third straight win with a 3-1 setback at St. Louis on Thursday, doomed by one bad inning.

Kendrick gave up all three of his runs in the third frame and retired 11 of the final 12 batters faced over six frames of work, but the offense failed to support the right-hander, who fell to 9-7 with a 3.96 ERA in 21 starts this season.

The 28-year-old Kendrick did win at San Francisco on May 7, giving up two runs over seven innings of a 6-2 decision. He moved to 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA in six lifetime encounters, including three starts.

The Phillies took two of three in San Francisco from May 6-8.

07/31 10:46:05 ET