While Philadelphia's Cole Hamels is trying to regain his All-Star form, Toronto's Drew Hutchison is looking to keep building confidence in his return from Tommy John surgery.
Hamels seeks his 100th career victory Tuesday night in a matchup against Hutchison as he tries to lead the visiting Blue Jays to a season-high third straight win.
After opening the season on the disabled list due to left biceps tendinitis, Hamels (0-2, 6.75 ERA) couldn't build on a promising debut last Tuesday. He surrendered six runs and eight hits with five walks over 4 2-3 innings in a 6-1 loss to the New York Mets on a frigid night in Philadelphia.
"The elements got the best of me," the veteran left-hander said. "From my standpoint, I'm truly embarrassed because I didn't really give anyone a chance."
Hamels, who is 99-76 over a nine-year career, should have better conditions Tuesday with temperatures expected to be in the upper 60s for a start that was pushed back two days because of the flu.
The three-time All-Star will try to keep the Blue Jays (15-17) from taking both games at Citizens Bank Park before the teams move to Toronto for two Wednesday and Thursday. He's 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three career starts against the Blue Jays, though he hasn't faced them since 2010.
Jose Reyes, who is 14 for 24 with five doubles off Hamels since 2011, hit his 19th career leadoff homer in Monday's series-opening 3-0 victory. Jose Bautista was hit by a pitch in the seventh, extending his streak of reaching base safely to 32 games - the longest to open a season since Cincinnati's Joey Votto did it for 33 games in 2011.
Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera look to stay hot after adding two hits apiece in the opener. Rasmus is 8 for 20 with three homers and nine RBIs in five games this month, while Cabrera has batted .385 over his last 15.
Toronto, however, could be without Brett Lawrie after he left in the fourth inning with a hamstring injury.
Once considered one of Toronto's top prospects, Hutchison (1-2, 3.82) went 5-3 with a 4.60 ERA in 11 starts as a rookie in 2012 before suffering a right ulnar collateral ligament sprain. He did not make it back to the majors last season, but hasn't disappointed since earning a rotation spot out of spring training.
After allowing two runs or less in four of his first five starts, the right-hander was one out away from doing it again Wednesday before giving up a two-run double with two outs in the seventh inning of a 4-2 loss at Kansas City.
"I was in complete control going into the seventh," said Hutchison, who allowed four runs in seven innings. "It comes down to that it's on me and I need to get the job done."
The Phillies (15-15), 2-3 on a rain-shortened six-game homestand, have totaled 14 runs while going 7 for 47 (.149) with runners in scoring position over their last six contests.
Marlon Byrd, Ben Revere and Carlos Ruiz combined for six of the team's seven hits Monday as Philadelphia failed to go two games above .500 for the first time since Oct. 1, 2012. Byrd has been a bright spot with a .429 average over his last nine games.
Jimmy Rollins is expected to be back in the lineup after he did not start Monday to rest his sore right groin.