4/27 Extra bases: Cubs vs. Phillies

The Cubs open a four-game series Friday against the Phillies. Cubs pitchers have compiled a 2.35 ERA in the last five games. The starters have a combined 2.64 ERA and the bullpen has a 1.76 ERA. This follows a stretch in which Cubs pitchers had a 6.67 ERA in seven games from April 13-20.

* The Cubs have gone 4-1 in five games against Phillies ace Roy Halladay since facing him in 2005 in Interleague play when he was with the Blue Jays. The Cubs are the only NL team to hand Halladay four career losses.

* Carlos Marmol needs four saves to reach 100 with the Cubs.

* Bryan LaHair has homered in his last two games. He also homered in consecutive games July 28-29, 2008, while with the Mariners. He has reached base safely in a team-high 15 straight games.

* Congrats to Cubs assistant athletic trainer Ed Halbur and wife Sara on the birth of son, Gabriel, on Friday.

* Here are the pitching matchups for the Phillies series:

Friday: Paul Maholm vs. Roy Halladay

Saturday: Randy Wells vs. Joe Blanton

Sunday: Matt Garza vs. Kyle Kendrick

Monday: Chris Volstad vs. Vance Worley

Note: Jeff Samardzija was to have started Monday, but is being given an extra day. Because of the off day Thursday, Volstad will be pitching on normal rest.

— Carrie Muskat

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