Padilla to start opener vs. D-Backs

Phillies out to prove West isn't best

The Phillies will try to build on their recent success as they welcome the Diamondbacks for a four-game series starting Friday.

Philadelphia reached .500 for the first time since April 21 when it finished a three-game sweep of the Giants at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night.

Vicente Padilla starts for the first time since May 21. He missed his last outing because of a stiff back. The righty is slowly returning to form, though he's giving up a lot of hits and doesn't trust all of his pitches.

Arizona counters with Javier Vazquez, who allowed four runs on 10 hits over seven innings to the Dodgers in his last outing. While he didn't get the win, the game was Arizona's lone victory of the three-game series. The right-hander's control has been pinpoint; he has not allowed a walk in 46 innings (183 batters), a club record.

Pitching matchup
ARI: RHP Javier Vazquez
•  5-3, 3.65 ERA in 2005
•  Hasn't faced PHI in 2005
•  Didn't face PHI in 2004

PHI: RHP Vicente Padilla
•  1-5, 7.03 ERA in 2005
•  Hasn't faced ARI in 2005
•  1-1, 3.86 ERA vs. ARI in 2004

Player to watch
Bobby Abreu is 16-for-60 (.267) with five homers against Vazquez.

"As long as we're right there in the hunt, that's OK. I'm not looking at how good we've done because we got to play better. We have to have a better record from here. The record we have definitely won't win our division." --manager Charlie Manuel

On the Internet
Gameday Audio
• Gameday
• Official game notes

On television
•  ARI: 3TV

On radio
•  ARI: KTAR 620 AM, KSUN 1400 AM (Spanish)
•  PHI: WIP 610 AM, WPWA 1590 (Sp.)

Quick hits
Abreu was named National League Player of the Month on Thursday. The team's hottest hitter batted .396 for the month, and belted 11 homers. In just seven years with the Phillies, he ranks in the Top 10 in nine offensive categories. ... Philadelphia is 23-30 against Arizona.

On deck
•  Saturday: vs. Diamondbacks, 7:05 p.m. ET
•  Sunday: vs. Diamondbacks, 1:35 p.m. ET
•  Monday: vs. Diamondbacks, 1:05 p.m. ET

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.