08/10/10 11:57 PM ET
LA looks to climb back, spoil Oswalt's party
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
Last year, the Phillies ended the Dodgers' season and motored into the World Series. This year, the boys in blue are once again fighting for survival.
The Phillies are in a dogfight of their own.
Following Tuesday's 15-9 win by Los Angeles, the Dodgers now trail the first-place Padres by seven games in the NL West standings. Tuesday's loss put the Phillies 2 1/2 games behind the NL East-leading Braves.
That's where Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley and Phillies hurler Roy Oswalt factor in.
Billingsley is one victory away from his fourth consecutive double-digit win season. He's fared well at Citizens Bank Park in three career starts, going 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA, with 19 strikeouts in 20 innings. He has not allowed a home run there.
In his last start, Billingsley gave up three runs on seven hits in six innings against the Padres.
As for Oswalt, he pitched better against the Marlins on Thursday than in his Phillies debut, but he was left with a no-decision when the Phils lost a 2-0 lead. Oswalt revealed afterward that he is going through a "dead arm" period that crops up every year.
"It usually lasts about 100 innings," said Oswalt, who will be making his home debut at Citizens Bank Park. "Sometimes it comes and goes."
Dodgers: Stars remain out
Manny Ramirez continues to recover from a strained right calf muscle at the Dodgers' Camelback-Ranch-Glendale complex in Arizona, and there is no real timetable for his return to the lineup. ... The club was expecting Rafael Furcal to return to the lineup this week, but he was placed on the disabled list with a stiff lower back. ... Matt Kemp, who finished up a 6-for-25 homestand with four strikeouts Sunday, was not in the Dodgers' lineup for Tuesday night's 15-9 win over the Phillies. He did deliver a two-run pinch-hit single. ... Dodgers Minor Leaguer Nick Akins was named the Pioneer League Player of the Week after hitting .550 with three home runs last week.
Phillies: Key cogs eye return dates
The club hopes Chase Utley can return to the lineup before Sept. 1. The All-Star second baseman has been throwing and playing catch before batting practice. ... Shane Victorino (abdominal strain) has begun a rehab assignment at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Domonic Brown could be sent to the Minor Leagues to make room for Victorino.
The Dodgers are 23-30 on the road this season, and 1-10 since the All-Star break. ... The Phillies have sold out their last 95 games at Citizens Bank Park. ... Raul Ibanez has a hit in 11 consecutive games against the Dodgers. ... Carlos Ruiz is 8-for-14 in his last seven games against the Dodgers. ... The Phillies are hosting a "Big Phantic Photo Op" at noon ET on Monday on the lawn of the Independence Visitor Center. Fans will be involved in a photo with one of the Phanatic statues and the Phanatic himself.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.