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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 22nd (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (10-8) at Philadelphia Phillies (8-11), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - A.J. Burnett (1-2, 2.63) Philadelphia - Jonathan Pettibone (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Phillies look to cool off an old rival Monday night, when they open a four-game series versus the Pittsburgh Pirates from Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies needed some late-game magic Sunday night to earn a split of a four-game series versus the St. Louis Cardinals. With the score even at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Michael Young and Domonic Brown both singled before Ben Revere knocked in Young with a base hit. Phillies catcher Erik Kratz followed with a three-run homer off Mitchell Boggs.
"The big thing for our offense is we got to be more consistent. I think you've seen our bench players being able to make contact," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
Mike Adams tossed the eighth for the win and Jonathan Papelbon closed the door in the ninth inning. Kyle Kendrick started for the Phillies and gave up two runs and eight hits in six innings of work for the no-decision.
Jimmy Rollins ended with three hits for Philadelphia, which has won two of three games since losing four in a row.
Since the Phillies placed left-hander John Lannan on the disabled list with a knee issue, Jonathan Pettibone will make his debut Monday. Called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Pettibone was 0-1 with a 9.64 earned run average in two starts with the Iron Pigs.
Pettibone is a right-hander and Philadelphia's third-round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
"His command hasn't been great. Hopefully he's got enough weapons and guile to pitch well for us," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro told the team's website. "He's got a pretty good arsenal. We'll see how he competes."
Pittsburgh has been on a roll as of late and will commence a 10-game road trip Monday night in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Pirates, who are also slated to make stops in St. Louis and Milwaukee, won the last three meetings of a four-game set versus the Atlanta Braves. In a 4-2 victory Sunday at PNC Park, Clint Barmes put the Buccos ahead for good with an RBI single in the sixth inning and Pittsburgh added an insurance run in the seventh when Travis Snider scored on a wild pitch.
Barmes had two hits and two RBI, Snider went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Russell Martin collected two hits, a run scored and an RBI for the Pirates, who have won nine of their last 12 games. The Pirates improved to 9-0 when leading after seven innings.
"We settled into our rhythm, our pitchers pitched better than their pitchers and our hitters actually outperformed," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. "It's good to beat good teams."
Pitching was on the uneven side for the Pirates. Starter Jonathan Sanchez lasted only three innings and allowed two runs and four hits. Justin Wilson got the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and Jason Grilli later posted his seventh save.
Pirates ace A.J. Burnett will try to build on his last performance when he takes the mound Monday. Burnett started the season 0-2 with a 3.71 earned run average in three starts, but bounced back in a 5-0 win over St. Louis last Tuesday. He struck out eight batters over seven scoreless innings and allowed only one hit with no walks.
Burnett, a righty, leads the National League with 35 strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 2.62. Opposing hitters are batting just .195 off of Burnett, who is 6-9 with a 5.06 ERA in 19 career games (18 starts) against the Phillies.
Pittsburgh won four of seven matchups with the Phillies a season ago.
04/22 10:35:13 ET
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