The Sports Xchange

MLB Team Report - Philadelphia Phillies - INSIDE PITCH

SAN FRANCISCO -- If new baseball commissioner Rob Manfred asks each team for one suggestion before he formally takes office in January, there's no doubt what the Phillies would request.

A transfer to the National League West.

Then again, being that the division has three of the weakest teams in the National League, they probably wouldn't be alone in making the plea.

No team enjoys the cross-country trip more than the Phillies. They haven't had a losing record against NL West teams since 2007, and they're close to clinching that distinction again this year with six games left to play.

A 5-3, 10-inning win over the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a three-game series Friday night improved the Phillies' record against NL West teams this season to 16-11. With a four-game series against the San Diego Padres still on the schedule, they needed just one more win against the West to add onto their impressive streak.

The Phillies have a 137-87 record against the NL West since 2007. No other team outside the West can touch that .612 percentage.


MLB Team Report - Philadelphia Phillies - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 54-68

STREAK: Won one

NEXT: Phillies (RHP Kyle Kendrick, 5-11, 4.88 ERA) at Giants (RHP Tim Hudson, 8-9, 2.81 ERA)


--RHP Kyle Kendrick will be seeking his first win in the month of August when he faces the San Francisco Giants on Saturday at a site (AT&T Park) where he has some pleasant memories. Kendrick is 2-2 with a 4.55 ERA in seven career appearances (four starts) against the Giants. The ERA was much more respectable before their last meeting, during which he was bombed for eight hits and seven runs in two innings. That was at home. His last outing in San Francisco was a lot more enjoyable: seven innings, six hits, two runs.

--LHP Cole Hamels isn't LHP Clayton Kershaw. That's now official. Hamels' bid for a sixth consecutive start of seven or more innings allowing one run or fewer was denied in a 5-3, 10-inning win over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night. Hamels was attempting to accomplish a feat only Kershaw had done this season, and did make it through seven innings. However, he allowed all three Giants runs in the game. The streak-ending blow came off the bat of Giants LF Michael Morse, a three-run home run in the fourth inning, the only runs allowed by Hamels.

--3B Cody Asche had only one home run against left-handed pitching this season before Friday's series opener against the San Francisco Giants. Heck, he'd had only three extra-base hits and 16 hits total against lefties this year. So the left-handed hitter was a bit surprised to see his name in manager Ryne Sandberg's starting lineup against one of the best lefties in the National League -- Giants All-Star Madison Bumgarner. Asche went 0-for-2 against Bumgarner, but belted a tying two-run homer off lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt in the eighth inning, sparking a Phillies comeback. Affeldt hadn't allowed a home run to a lefty since April 24, 2011.

--RF Marlon Byrd belted his 23rd home run of the season in the Phillies' 5-3, 10-inning win over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night. The right fielder might as well have been awarded a save as well. He made two brilliant plays in right field, a running catch in the second inning that saved a run and a throw to the plate in the eighth that nailed Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval, who was attempting to break a 3-3 tie. Byrd is now one homer away from matching his career best, which he recorded last season.

--LF Darin Ruf is enjoying his West Coast trip. Ruf was rewarded for a 2-for-3 effort earlier in the week against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with a start in the series opener in San Francisco against the Giants. He made the most of his encore performance Friday, smacking two more hits, including a double, in the Phillies' 5-3, 10-inning win. Ruf's biggest hit was his eighth-inning single, which came immediately before 3B Cody Asche belted a tying two-run homer.