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PHI@CIN: Kendrick stymies Reds over seven scoreless

Fresh off an excellent pitching performance from Lance Lynn, the Cardinals square off again against the Phillies.

Philadelphia netted just three hits in a 5-0 shutout loss to St. Louis on Saturday night, but it will have a shot at a four-game series split on Sunday. Kyle Kendrick will get the ball for Philadelphia, and he'll be matched against veteran Jake Westbrook for the Cardinals.

Lynn threw seven one-hit innings for the Cardinals on Saturday night, and Westbrook hasn't allowed an earned run in his first two official starts of the season. But that stat has something to do with the weather. Westbrook got knocked around for four runs in two innings against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, but the start -- and the stats -- were washed away by rain.

The Phillies, meanwhile, had their own strong streak of solid pitching shattered on Saturday night. Philadelphia had turned in a quality start in nine of its last 10 games prior to Saturday, and its staff had been 4-1 with a 2.80 ERA in that span. Cliff Lee got knocked around, but manager Charlie Manuel still likes what he's seen from his rotation.

"Our starting pitching is definitely starting to come together better. But also we need for it to [come around]," Manuel said. "That's kind of what we're built around. But, yeah, it's getting there."

Kendrick was scorched for five earned runs in his season debut, but he's rebounded with a pair of strong outings. The right-hander gave up two earned runs in a 7-3 win over the Mets on April 10, and then he threw shutout innings in a game the Phillies eventually lost, 1-0, to the Reds on Tuesday. Kendrick is 5-1 with a 2.68 career ERA against St. Louis.

St. Louis took a one-run game in Thursday's series opener, but Roy Halladay led the Phillies to a victory on Friday. Halladay threw seven two-hit innings en route to the win, and then Lynn came out and did even better for the Cardinals on Saturday.

Westbrook pitched into the seventh inning of his season debut against the Giants and allowed six hits and one unearned run in a game that the Cardinals went on to lose, 1-0. And in his second start, he left nothing to chance. Westbrook threw a complete-game shutout against Cincinnati on April 10, and the Cardinals backed him with 10 runs in a one-sided rout.

The Cardinals are up a half-game on the Reds in the National League Central standings, and the third-place Pirates are just a game out of first place. The Phillies are in fourth place in the NL East, and they have a losing record both at home (4-5) and on the road (3-6).

Cardinals: Holliday searching for stroke
Matt Holliday went 1-for-3 in Saturday's loss, and the Cardinals are still waiting for him to find his groove. The veteran left fielder homered on Friday night for just the second time this season, and he's walked 10 times in his first 16 games. Holliday is batting just .246 for the season, but he's a career .297 hitter with 27 home runs in 207 games played in April.

Phillies: Revere finds success in new spot
Ben Revere didn't immediately take to the leadoff slot, so the Phillies have found another way to utilize him. Philadelphia's center fielder batted .194 leading off for the first 15 games of the season, but he's hitting 3-for-9 in three games from the No. 7 slot. And he'll have a chance to get comfortable, because Manuel thinks Revere can utilize his speed there.

"Right now, I hit him seventh because if he gets on, I'd like to think that he could steal second base and we've got the catcher standing there," Manuel said. "And even might give him a chance to steal third. I look at him as that kind of player.

"If he hits eighth, of course, the pitcher could bunt him over. But I'd like to have him steal a bag and see if the catcher can knock him in."

Worth noting
• The Phillies went 24-16 against the National League Central last year and had just two series losses.

• Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 11 consecutive games with a single in the ninth inning on Saturday. Young has had 29 hitting streaks of at least 10 games in his career.

• Sixteen of the players on the Cardinals' 25-man roster were drafted by the team.

• The Phillies have won the season series against the Cardinals in eight of the last 11 years, but the Cardinals have had the edge in three of the last four years. Comments