Happy trails? Phils hoping long road trip cures woes

The mark of a good team is a winning road record. Not that anyone is calling the sub .500 Phillies a good team, but Charlie Manuel’s squad is a respectable 17-14 on the road.

Most teams play well at home. The Phillies — 12-19 at Citizens Bank Park — have played some of their worst ball in South Philadelphia.

“I can’t explain it,” Shane Victorino said. “It’s really frustrating. I can’t put my finger on it.”

Well, the Phillies’ bullpen has been particularly bad at home, especially Chad Qualls. Qualls was a curious signing, since when he took the mound outside of three pitcher’s parks — PETCO Park, AT&T Park and Dodger Stadium last season — his ERA was a stratospheric 6.80.

“The bullpen has lost some games [in Philly],” Qualls said. “We have to pick it up.”

The Phillies won’t see home for two weeks and perhaps that’s a good thing as the squad continues its inter-league run in Minnesota.

Perhaps the good road run will continue. In 2011, the Phils’ record away from home was an astounding 50-31, the best in franchise history.

“Maybe we just focus better on the road,” Victorino said. “It’s certainly a different environment. We certainly get down to business.”

The Phillies need to string some wins together soon. It’s early, but the season may hang in the balance. The Phillies were 10 games back in the loss column after Sunday’s defeat in Baltimore.

“We can’t get caught up in the standings,” Victorino said. “We just need to win one series after another. If we take care of things and not look at the standings, we’ll rise. The thing is that we have to win at home and on the road.”

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