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Paul Maholm, Pirates Take On Phillies

Follow the game with your fellow Pirates fans over at Bucs Dugout.

Philadelphia Phillies (41-37) at Pittsburgh Pirates (29-51), 7:05 p.m.

Sports Network | July 3, 2010

 

(Sports Network) - Paul Maholm tries to continue Pittsburgh's tremendous starting pitching of late when thePirates play the third test of their four- game set with the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park.

With back-to-back wins to start this series, the Pirates have now won four of five on the heels of dropping six straight and 18 of their previous 20. More importantly, though, Pittsburgh's starting staff has allowed four runs in a combined 39 1/3 innings in the last six games, while going 4-1.

That trend continued on Friday, as Ross Ohlendorf combined with two other pitchers in a five-hit shutout, helping the Pirates to a 2-0 win.

Ohlendorf (1-6) got his first win since August 18, 2009 as he gave up five hits and a walk with a season-high eight strikeouts over seven innings. He had gone 16 starts without a win, including 11 this season.

"The last couple of starts he's thrown really well," Pirates manager John Russell said. "He's continued to build, start after start, kind of what we saw last year. I'm pretty confident he's back on track and he's going to be pretty good for us."

Andy LaRoche drove in a run and Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-3 with a run scored for the Pirates, who have won three in a row. Joel Hanrahan tossed a perfect eighth while Octavio Dotel worked the ninth for his 18th save of the season.

Jamie Moyer (9-7) had a three-start winning streak broken despite giving up just two runs -- one earned -- on five hits with a pair of walks and a season- high eight strikeouts over six innings for the Phillies, who have dropped three straight and five of their last seven.

"We have to keep our heads above water," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Now we talk about getting our team back at full strength. We have to stay in the race."

The Phillies' 78-game record -- 41-37 -- is identical to what it was last season, leading, of course, to their National League East three-peat.

Maholm, meanwhile, will be trying to string back-to-back wins together for the first time this season. Maholm won for the first time in three starts and bounced back from a horrific outing in his previous outing to beat the Chicago Cubs, holding them to a run and seven hits in seven innings.

Maholm, who is 5-6 with a 3.98 ERA, had given up seven runs in an inning of work on June 23 to the Texas Rangers.

He has faced the Phillies six times and is 3-1 against them with a 3.29 ERA.

Getting the call for the Phillies tonight will be right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who is 4-3 with a 4.88 ERA. Kendrick was saddled with the loss on Monday in Cincinnati after allowing six runs (five earned) and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.

However, he beat the Pirates the last time he faced them and is a perfect 3-0 lifetime against them with a 2.45 ERA in three starts.

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh split a two-game series back in May, but the Phillies are 7-5 in the previous 12 matchups.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.