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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, June 24th (All times Eastern)

Philadelphia Phillies (36-40) at San Diego Padres (38-38), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (9-2, 2.53) San Diego - Eric Stults (6-5, 3.25)

(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Phillies will turn to their most consistent starter on Monday night in the opener of a 10-game road trip as Cliff Lee takes the hill for the first of three straight meetings with the San Diego Padres.

Lee has not lost since May 1, going 7-0 with a 1.97 earned run average in nine outings since. The left-hander won his second straight start on Tuesday, logging eight inning in a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals, charged with a pair of runs on five hits while striking out nine without a walk.

Lee improved to 9-2 on the season with a 2.53 ERA in 15 starts, striking out 98 batters to just 17 walks over 110 1/3 innings.

"I definitely wanted to throw strikes and work ahead in the count," Lee said following the win over the Nationals. "That's what I try to do every game. Tonight I was able to do that. For the most part it was locating the fastball and staying out of hitter-friendly counts."

The 34-year-old will try to improve on his career numbers versus the Padres, who he is just 1-2 against in five starts with a 4.99 ERA.

Lee's win over the Nationals was part of a 3-3 homestand that ended with a disappointing 8-0 setback to the New York Mets on Sunday.

John Lannan struggled over five-plus innings, yielding six runs -- four earned -- on eight hits and three walks.

"I wasn't making pitches," Lannan said. "I struggled with what I wanted to do today."

The Phillies have lost three of their last four and begin their road trip against red-hot Padres hurler Eric Stults, who has pitched to a 1.69 ERA over his last five starts.

Stults logged at least seven innings in the first four games of that span before exiting after 6 1/3 frames of a no-decision at San Francisco on Wednesday. Looking for a third straight winning start, the left-hander allowed two runs and seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

Stults sits 6-5 with a 3.25 ERA in 15 starts this season and will face the Phillies for only the second time in his career. The first meeting came as a reliever with the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2007 and the 33-year-old gave up four runs over three innings. That included a pair of homers to Phillies slugger Ryan Howard.

The Padres have lost four of six following a seven-game winning streak and split a four-game set over the weekend against the Dodgers. Huston Street was tagged for a pair of homers in the ninth inning to suffer the loss in Sunday's 3-1 setback.

Andrew Cashner was excellent in a no-decision, holding the Dodgers to a run over eight innings.

"We're seeing him mix pitches, seeing him get out of big jams when he needs to. He's growing as a pitcher," said Padres manager Bud Black.

Carlos Quentin tied the game in the bottom half of the seventh winning with a home run.

Though they won just four of the seven meetings last year, the Phillies are 14-4 in their past 18 versus the Padres and have lost just twice in San Diego over that time.

06/24 10:28:03 ET