Philadelphia’s Vance Worley was stellar in his first career start against San Francisco last week. The rookie right-hander hopes to be just as effective when he faces the Giants near his hometown this time.
The Sacramento native looks to help the Phillies to a season-high eighth consecutive victory Friday night against the Giants at AT&T Park.
Most offshore sports books monitored by SportsOptions have opened the Phils as $1.20 road favorites, with a 6 1/2-run total.
After Cliff Lee tossed a seven-hitter in Philadelphia’s 3-0 win over San Francisco on Thursday, Worley (7-1, 2.33 ERA) looks to continue his recent success while pitching less than two hours from where he was born and raised.
Worley is 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA in eight starts – all Philadelphia wins – since losing to the Mets on May 29. However, the right-hander is coming off his worst performance in that span, giving up four runs and seven hits in six innings of a 6-5, 10-inning win over Pittsburgh on Sunday.
That came one start after he tossed his first complete game by holding San Francisco to three hits in a 7-2 win July 26.
“He has good stuff,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He throws quality strikes, pounds the strike zone.”
Lee had great stuff while striking out eight to put the NL-leading Phillies (72-39) in position to win eight straight for the first time since an 11-game run Sept. 12-24. Philadelphia has won just five times in 14 regular-season and playoff games at AT&T Park.
“We just want to win every series,” Lee said. “Getting the first game means you’re in better shape. We want to stay in a groove and keep winning.”
Hunter Pence had three hits Thursday, including the first of back-to-back homers with John Mayberry in the second inning. Pence is batting .360 with five RBIs in six games since the Phillies acquired him from Houston last Friday.
“He has come in and fit in nicely,” teammate Ryan Howard said. “He gives us energy and intensity. He’s been great for our team.”
While Philadelphia has won 13 of 16 to open an 8 1/2-game lead in the East, San Francisco (62-50) has averaged 2.3 runs while dropping six of seven and is clinging to a half-game edge over Arizona in the West.
The Giants were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position Thursday and are batting .176 in those situations over the past 14 games.
“(Thursday we) battled well and got some guys on base,” Bochy said. “We just couldn’t get a hit to drive in somebody.”
Carlos Beltran doubled in the opener and is batting .400 in the past five games after going 1 for 14 in his first three after being acquired from the Mets. He’s 9 for 43 (.209) against the Phillies in 2011.
Jonathan Sanchez (4-5, 3.81) looks to help the Giants bounce back Friday as he returns after missing six weeks with tendinitis in his left biceps. Sanchez last pitched in the majors June 24 and hasn’t started anywhere since going six innings for Triple-A Fresno on July 27 as he allowed two runs, seven hits and three walks.
The left-hander is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in five regular-season starts against the Phillies but went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two NL championship series starts in 2010. Sanchez started the Giants’ Game 6 clincher at Philadelphia and hit Chase Utley in the back, prompting the Phillies second baseman to flip his bat toward the mound and causing the benches to empty.
Pence is 1 for 6 versus Sanchez.