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Series Preview: Pirates at Phillies, June 25-28

While the Phillies (34-40) struggle, trying to get on any sort of roll, they'll host the Pirates (38-33) in a 4-game series beginning Monday night at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park.

Fresh off being swept in a double header by Tampa Bay on Sunday, the Philllies, who are the reigning five-time National League East division champions, are currently sitting in last place. Meanwhile, the Pirates, who haven't had a winning record since 1992, sit just 1 game back of the Reds for the top spot in the NL Central division.

The Phillies swept the Pirates in three games last season at Citizens Bank Park.

Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other statistical info on this series.

Monday, 7:05 PM. Jeff Karstens (0-1, 4.50) vs. Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.04 ERA). The right-handed Karstens will be returning from the disabled list, as he has been sidelined since April with a shoulder strain. In 6 career games against the Phillies, Karstens has no decisions and a 3.09 ERA. Karstens has a 7.50 ERA in 2 road starts this season. Hunter Pence is 9-for-24 (.375 avg) with a double and a home run in his career against Karstens. In 7 starts at home this season, Blanton has a 3-2 record with a 4.76 ERA. Blanton allowed a run in 2/3 of an inning against the Pirates in his lone relief appearance this season, back in April. Garett Jones is 1-for-11 (.091 avg) in his career against Blanton.

Tuesday, 7:05 PM. Erik Bedard (4-7, 4.13 ERA) vs. Vance Worley (3-4, 2.78 ERA). The lefty Bedard has a 2-1 record with a 1.61 ERA in 4 career starts against the Phillies. In 7 road starts this season, Badard has posted a 2-5 record with a 6.27 ERA. In his last 4 starts, since returning from the disabled list, Worley is 0-2 with a 2.25 ERA. Worley is 1-2 with a 3.90 ERA in 5 home starts this season. Garett Jones is 0-for-6 in his career against Worley.

Wednesday, 7:05 PM. James McDonald (6-3, 2.19 ERA) vs. To Be Announced. McDonald has held opponents to a .195 batting average against this season. In 5 career games against the Phillies, McDonald is 0-2 with a 5.51 ERA. Due to a rain out on Friday, it is unclear who will start on Wednesday for the Phillies. v

Thursday, 1:05 PM. A.J. Burnett (8-2, 3.24 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (2-7, 5.24 ERA). Burnett has a 3-2 record with a 7.18 ERA in 5 road starts this season. In his past 9 starts, Burnett is 7-0 with a 1.97 ERA. Burnett has a 5-9 record with a 5.13 ERA in 18 career games against the Phillies. In 7 home outings this season, Kendrick has a 1-4 record with a 5.34 ERA and a .284 batting average against. In 5 June starts, Kendrick has tallied a 7.11 ERA.


Andrew McCutchen has a .291 batting average with 3 HR and 9 RBI in 21 career games against the Phillies. McCutchen is a .194 hitter in 8 career games at Citizens Bank Park.

In 23 career games against the Phillies, Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan has a 1-2 record with 1 save, 1 blown save and a 3.00 ERA. Hanrahan has a 3.75 ERA in 12 road games this season. Jimmy Rollins is 2-for-13 (.154 avg) in his career against Hanrahan.

Pedro Alvarez is batting .220 in 32 road games this season. Alvarez has a .235 average in 9 career games against the Phillies.

In 19 career games against the Pirates, Carlos Ruiz has a .250 batting average with 4 doubles and 4 RBI. Ruiz has just 1 extra-base hit, a double, in 18 day games this season.

Juan Pierre is a .305 career hitter in 74 games against the Pirates. Pierre, who is batting .322 overall this season, has posted a .245 average in 32 home games.

Placido Polanco is batting .289 with 2 HR and 11 RBI in 32 home games this season. Polanco has a .281 career batting average in 72 games against Pittsburgh.

Injured second baseman Chase Utley is expected to return to the Phillies on Wednesday. Through 9 rehab games thus far with Class A Advanced Clearwater, Utley has posted a .159 batting average with 1 homer and 5 RBI. Utley is slated to play for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday.
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