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Phillies-Diamondbacks Preview

Phillies-Diamondbacks Preview
The Arizona Diamondbacks' hot start may have lost a little luster during a tough stretch over the last week. A win over the surging Philadelphia Phillies could have the team back on track.

The Diamondbacks look to hold on to the majors' best record as they continue their four-game series against the Phillies on Wednesday night at Chase Field.

After opening the season 19-7, Arizona dropped four of six at home, prompting speculation the team was coming back down to earth after playing over its head in the first month. The last of those defeats was a disheartening 11-4 loss in the opener of this series - Philadelphia's fourth win in five games.

However, the Diamondbacks (22-11) bounced back with a 6-4 victory on Tuesday night, thanks in part to shortstop Stephen Drew's three-run homer that capped Arizona's five-run fourth inning.

Drew, batting .310 at home and just .234 on the road, has posted three consecutive multihit games while driving in five runs. He is 7-for-13 with seven RBIs in his last three games against the Phillies (19-15), who dropped percentage points behind Florida for the NL East lead with Tuesday's loss.

The Diamondbacks hope Drew can stay hot with second baseman Orlando Hudson expected to miss up to 10 days after an MRI revealed a strain in his right hamstring.

Asked if Hudson might be headed for the disabled list, Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said, "It's an option. It's just we don't want to jump the gun. What they're saying is five, six, seven, maybe up to 10 days. They don't think it's a 15-day thing, yet you get a little bit hamstrung if you don't have (Hudson)."

Augie Ojeda replaced Hudson in the lineup Tuesday, going 0-for-2 and getting hit by a pitch.

The Phillies got much better news about their middle infield on Tuesday, when reigning NL MVP Jimmy Rollins delivered another strong rehab performance. Rollins, on the disabled list for the first time in his career, won't play in this game, but expects to return from his ankle injury later this week.

The Phillies may not need Rollins' contribution against Diamondbacks starter Micah Owings (4-1, 4.42 ERA), who has faltered after opening the season strong. The right-hander posted a 2.42 ERA while winning each of his first four starts, but has been tagged for 12 runs - 11 earned - in 10 2-3 innings spanning his last two outings.

Owings suffered his first loss of the year on Friday when he gave up seven runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-2 defeat to the New York Mets.

"He's a very competitive guy, and sometimes, he has to settle down a little bit," Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero told the team's official Web site.

Owings is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two career starts against the Phillies, who will turn to right-hander Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 5.01).

Kendrick held San Francisco to three runs in six innings of the Phillies' 6-5, 10-inning victory Friday. Philadelphia has won the last three starts made by Kendrick, who is making his first career appearance against the Diamondbacks.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 7, 2008

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