Phillies eye sweep, sixth victory in a row

Phils eye sweep, sixth victory in a row

SAN DIEGO -- Greg Dobbs said "there is no secret recipe" to the Phillies' success on the road this season.

"We're just a very focused and determined club," Dobbs said. "We're not intimidated going into other people's park that for sure and that's a testament to the makeup of the individuals on this club."

The Phillies, winners of five straight, will try to improve on their Major League-best 18-6 road record Wednesday night when they go for a sweep of their three-game series with the Padres.

Unbeaten left-hander J.A. Happ (3-0) will be looking for his fourth straight victory, opposing right-hander Chris Young (4-3).

The Phils' win Tuesday night behind rookie Antonio Bastardo was their 30th of the season in their 50th game and marked the fastest to 30 wins since 2001 when they reached that plateau in 48 games.

Philadelphia, which had back-to-back home runs by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on Monday, got three home runs Tuesday, two by Raul Ibanez and one by Dobbs, which gives the club 74 homers, tops in the NL and tied with Texas for the Major League lead.

"I know we haven't played well at home [12-14]," Dobbs said. "Some teams have better records at home than on the road. We happen to right now have a better record on the road. And hopefully we will find our stride at home."

The Padres, who recently snapped an 11-game road losing streak, had a 10-game home winning streak before the Phillies came to town Monday.

The Phillies and Happ will have to contend with the Majors' leading home run hitter in Adrian Gonzalez, who has hit 22 in 52 games and is on pace to hit 69 this season.

Of course, Young will have to deal with Ibanez as well as the rest of the Phils' lumber company, including Howard and Utley.

Pitching matchup
PHI: LHP J.A. Happ (3-0, 3.00 ERA)
Happ was effective in his last start against the Nationals on Friday. The left-hander allowed three hits and three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. He was replaced by Chad Durbin with runners on first and second and one out, but Durbin couldn't hold them on. Happ was a little erratic with three walks and two hit-batsmen, but he did fan five and threw 62 of his 96 pitches for strikes.

SD: RHP Chris Young (4-3, 4.45 ERA)
In his last start -- in Colorado last Saturday -- Young allowed one earned run on two hits but walked six -- his highest total in a start this season. The Padres didn't back Young with anything in the way of offense, as Jason Marquis tossed eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 Colorado victory. But this wasn't by any means a case of Young having trouble controlling the location of his pitches. Instead, it was likely more a reflection of a tight strike zone. "It was one of those nights where I had a lot of borderline pitches," Young said. "[Coors Field] is tough. I have trouble with my grip. [The ball] doesn't come out consistently."

Tidbits
Left-handed pitcher Sergio Escalona has been optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for J.C. Romero, who will be activated Wednesday following his 50-game suspension. ... Pitcher Brett Myers will have surgery on his hip on Thursday. ... Kyle Drabek, the Phillies' top pick in the 2006 Draft, was promoted to Double-A Reading and will make his first start for Reading on Thursday night against Akron at FirstEnergy Stadium. ... Howard's two-run double in the first inning Tuesday gave him 43 RBIs this season.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• CSN

On radio
• WPHT 1210, WUBA 1480 (Español)

Up next
• Thursday: Phillies (Cole Hamels, 3-2, 5.21) at Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 3-3, 4.34), 10:10 p.m. ET
• Friday: Phillies (Jamie Moyer, 4-5, 6.75) at Dodgers (Eric Milton, 2-0, 3.14), 10:10 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Phillies (Joe Blanton, 4-3, 5.86) at Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda, 1-1, 2.53), 4:10 p.m. ET

Sandy Burgin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.