May 13, 2014

While the Philadelphia Phillies' Cliff Lee has been superb against NL opponents, he's been hit hard in interleague play.

Facing Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels could present another difficult challenge.

Lee gets his first look at Trout, who grew up near Philadelphia and is expected to be greeted by an abundance of fan support in the first of two meetings Tuesday night.

Lee (3-3, 3.64 ERA) has mostly dominated NL foes, going 2-2 with a 1.67 ERA. He hasn't been nearly as sharp against the AL, though, posting an 11.12 ERA in two matchups.

After yielding a career worst-tying eight runs over five innings in a 14-10 win at Texas on opening day, Lee was tagged for six runs over 6 1-3 innings in Wednesday's 10-0 defeat at Toronto. The left-hander kept the Blue Jays in check before surrendering five of their nine runs in the seventh.

"I mean, whatever; it is what it is," he told MLB's official website. "They swung the bats, put together a big inning. It's our job to try and limit that, and we were trying, but they just squared everything up that inning."

Lee is 7-4 with a 2.95 ERA against the Angels, but he hasn't faced them since 2010 while with Texas. Erick Aybar is 2 for 18 in their matchups while Howie Kendrick is 4 for 22.

The Angels (19-18) opened a six-game trip with three consecutive wins over Toronto before falling 7-3 on Monday. Rookie C.J. Cron hit his second homer in as many games and Trout doubled in a pair of runs.

Trout, who grew up cheering for the Phillies in nearby Millville, New Jersey, returns to the area for the first time as a big leaguer. Playing in front of family and friends could provide a boost for the 22-year-old phenom, who is 6 for 43 (.140) with 15 strikeouts over the last 12 games.

After removing Hector Santiago from the rotation, the Angels will turn to rookie Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.05) for his first start this season and second of his career. The right-hander, who made three relief appearances last month, went 1-0 with a 6.31 ERA in five starts with Triple-A Salt Lake.

He tossed five scoreless innings in his first career start Sept. 20 against Seattle.

"I think Matt will be valuable," manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels' official website. "He's been throwing the ball well his last couple of outings down there and hopefully he'll come in here and give us the game we need. Obviously there's a void in our rotation that we need filled and we'll see how Matt does."

The Phillies (17-19) return home after closing a 2-3 road trip with Sunday's 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Mets. Philadelphia found itself on the verge of a three-game sweep before blowing a three-run lead in the ninth inning with closer Jonathan Papelbon unavailable.

"That's a tough pill to swallow," manager Ryne Sandberg said.

Papelbon, who pitched on Friday and Saturday, should be good to go Tuesday. He has thrown 14 consecutive scoreless innings while converting each of his last 11 save chances.

Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd is batting .414 with 12 extra-base hits over a 15-game stretch. He's hitting .425 with eight extra-base hits during a 10-game hitting streak in interleague play dating to September.

These teams haven't met since 2008, when the Angels swept the Phillies in Philadelphia. Los Angeles, which also took two of three in 2003, has posted five consecutive wins in the series.

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