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NYM@PHI: Burnett strikes out 11 over seven innings

Considering how much each team has struggled this year, the Padres and Phillies have to be looking forward to squaring off against each other for a three-games series.

The Phillies, whose 25-36 record is the worst in the National League, will enter Tuesday's game at Citizens Bank Park as losers of eight of their last nine games. The Padres, who are fourth in the NL West with a 28-35 record, had dropped four of their last six entering Sunday's game against the Nationals.

But despite that, both teams remain very much alive in the Wild Card conversation, at least mathematically speaking -- the Marlins are leading that pack at only three games over .500 (33-30).

A.J. Burnett will take the hill to try to stop the bleeding for Philadelphia. After posting a 2.06 ERA in seven starts through May 3, the hard-throwing righty is 1-4 with a 7.25 ERA in six starts since. His last outing was his worst all season. In six innings against Washington on Wednesday, Burnett allowed 10 hits, eight runs and four walks.

"For somebody who harps on shutout innings, I've been pretty [bad] at it," Burnett said after his last start. "Sorry about the language, but I have been. I will be better. Guys throw up runs, you have to put up zeros after that. That's how you stop it. That's how you get the momentum on your side, and that wasn't done."

San Diego's Ian Kennedy, meanwhile, has been nothing but brilliant over his last three starts. He's notched three consecutive wins and in 18 innings pitched dating back to May 25, Kennedy has a 2.00 ERA with 22 strikeouts.

Kennedy's ERA is currently about 1 1/2 runs lower than it was a year ago with the D-backs and Padres.

Phillies: Giles gets the call
The Phillies have been waiting for a couple months to see Ken Giles' 100-mph fastball in Philadelphia.

They should get their first look this week at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies promoted him from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Saturday.

He had a 1.20 ERA in 13 appearances with Double-A Reading. He struck out 29 and walked five in just 15 innings. The Phillies promoted him to Triple-A early last month and he posted a 2.63 ERA in 11 appearances, although he struck out just nine and walked eight in 13 2/3 innings.

"I'm not perfect," he said. "I'm not a complete project yet, but I'm only going to get better with experience."

Padres: Rivera making an impact
Rene Rivera began this season as Andrew Cashner's personal catcher, largely starting just once every five games before giving way to Yasmani Grandal and Nick Hundley, two backstops regarded as better offensive threats. But with Hundley now playing for Baltimore and Grandal hovering below the Mendoza line, Rivera has started seven of San Diego's last nine games.

After gaining journeyman status after several years in the Minors and with an independent league team, the 30-year-old Rivera is finally getting time as a Major League regular. At least until Grandal, a 25-year-old switch hitting catcher, finds his groove.

"All the work that I've put into with [hitting coaches Phil] Plantier and Alonzo [Powell] is paying off," Rivera said. "The main thing we work on is be consistent with my swing. That's been our main goal since last year."

"He's playing well and I like the way he's catching," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's doing a good job with the pitching staff and our team ERA is really good when he's catching."

Worth noting
• Jimmy Rollins had two RBIs in the leadoff spot Saturday, which put him in rare company. It was his 160th multi-RBI game in the leadoff spot, which is tied with Pete Rose for third-most since 1900. Only Rickey Henderson (242) and Johnny Damon (173) have had more.

• Left-hander Cesar Jimenez cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He will report Sunday afternoon. Comments