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CIN@CHC: Wells discusses his performance vs. the Reds

Saturday's pitching matchup between the Cubs and Phillies at Citizens Bank Park is full of intrigue and uncertainty.

For the Cubs, veteran right-hander Randy Wells makes his second start in place of the injured Ryan Dempster with no guarantee of what comes next.

For the Phillies, Joe Blanton, another veteran right-hander who still is trying to come back from the elbow inflammation that derailed his 2011 season, will be making his fourth 2012 start and is still looking for some consistency.

Wells, who is 27-30 in parts of five Major League seasons, is making his second start for the Cubs after starting three games at Triple-A Iowa.

With Dempster on the disabled list with a quad injury and due back May 3, Wells could be pitching to keep his spot on the Cubs' roster.

"We'll make those decisions when they come up," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Friday, when asked about Wells' status. "Right now, Randy is starting [on Saturday]."

Wells struggled, but battled, in his lone start for the Cubs this season on Sunday, working five innings and giving up six hits while walking five, but allowed only two earned runs in a no-decision against the Reds.

Blanton made only eight starts last season before the elbow problems, and his first three starts this season have brought mixed results.

In his first start of the year, he held the Marlins to one run on three hits in seven innings and got the win. He lost his last two starts, however, while allowing 18 hits and two walks in 11 innings for a 5.73 ERA.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is optimistic Blanton will regain his old form.

"I think he can definitely get back to being a good rotation pitcher for us," Manual said Friday. "His command plays a big part in his success, and on nights when he's got his command, especially down in the zone, he's capable of pitching good games for us."

Cubs: Campana provides spark
• With the Cubs' offense struggling, Sveum has installed center fielder Tony Campana as the No. 2 hitter with success.

Campana had two hits and a stolen base in Friday's 5-1 victory, and his speed led to a pair of runs. He broke up Roy Halladay's perfect game in the fourth inning, when he beat out a bunt and later scored the Cubs' first run after stealing second. Campana then led off the sixth with a single, went to third on Bryan LaHair's hit and scored again on Alfonso Soriano's knock.

• Shortstop Starlin Castro had two hits Friday, raising his average to .342 and giving him 373 hits since making his Major League debut on May 7, 2010.

Only three players -- Michael Young (393 before Friday) of the Rangers, Ichiro Suzuki (386) of the Mariners and Adrian Gonzalez (383 before Friday) of the Red Sox have had more hits in that period.

Phillies: Mayberry in pinch-hitting role
• Manuel says he hasn't forgotten about John Mayberry Jr., but Mayberry didn't start for the seventh straight game Friday night.

One reason Mayberry has been sitting is that Manuel likes to ride a hot bat, and Juan Pierre went into Friday night batting .371 (13-for-35) in his last eight games before going 1-for-4.

Mayberry had a pinch-hit single in Friday's game.

• Ty Wigginton's fourth-inning single Friday extended his streak of reaching base in all of his 13 starts this season. He added a solo homer in the seventh. Comments