Behind the four hit, shutout pitching of Kyle Kendrick, the Phillies are able to finally end their longest losing streak of the season at six games as they defeat the A’s, 4-0. The Phillies would score their first run in the top of first, when, with two men on base, and one out, Pat Burrell would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jayson Werth, who first got on base with a walk, moved to second on Chase Utley’s bloop single and then was part of a double steal which got him to third, to give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Phillies would increase their lead in the fourth when Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI triple off of both the left field wall and the back of A’s left fielder Jack Cust, which would score Burrell, who has earlier singled, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. Feliz would then score on a sacrifice fly by Chris Coste, making it 3-0 Phillies. The Phillies would score their final run in the sixth, when with two outs and a runner on first, Coste would hit a RBI single on a ball that was misplayed by A’s center fielder Carlos Gonzalez, allowing Shane Victorino, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, to score, giving the Phillies a 4-0 lead. That would turn out to be more than enough runs for Kyle Kendrick to work with, as he would go eight innings, giving up only four scattered hits to the A’s, and only getting into trouble in the eighth inning, after the Phillies have earlier blown a bases loaded, no body out, situation that could’ve blown the game wide open, in their half of the inning. After giving up a single to Kurt Suzuki and then getting Gonzalez to fly out to center, Kendrick would give up a single to Daric Barton, putting runners on first and second with one out. After a conference with Charlie Manuel, Kendrick would stay in the game, and unlike Moyer on Tuesday night, Kendrick would get out of the jam by striking out Mark Ellis on a called third strike and then getting Ryan Sweeney to ground out pitcher to first. J.C. Romero would then come in the ninth to redeem himself as he would quickly dispose of the A’s to end the ballgame.
Kyle Kendrick would get the win, as he pitches a brilliant game, going eight innings for the first time in his career, giving up no runs on four hits, striking out four and walking only one A. His record is now 7-3 with a 4.59 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits. Greg Smith would get the lost as he is only able to go five and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 4-6 with an ERA of 3.69. Chad Gaudin would go one and a third shut out innings, giving up two hits. Santiago Casilla would go an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Andrew Brown would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits.
Speaking of Kendrick’s performance, Phillies Phollowers has noted in her post yesterday that Kyle Kendrick has been seen working on his pitches with the 45-years old veteran Jamie Moyer, who yesterday had the A’s stymied for most of the game until he finally ran out of gas in the seventh. Could it be possible that the old vet has given Kendrick some pitching tips and that Kendrick actually listened to him? If that does turn out to be the case, maybe Kendrick should start listening to him more. Heck, maybe Moyer should start talking to Myers? It certainly couldn’t hurt at this point.
The Phils’ offense was finally able to score more than two runs in a game for the first time since June 18. But they still blew several scoring opportunities when they could have scored even more runs, the biggest one coming in the eighth inning. With Casilla pitching in relief, Feliz would greet him with a single, his second hit of the night. Victorino would then get on base via a fielding error by shortstop Bobby Crosby, who threw away the ball as he attempted to force out Feliz, who would end up on third, giving the Phillies runners on the corners with nobody out. Victornio, with Coste batting, would then steal second, his nineteenth of the season, to give the Phillies two runners in scoring position. Coste then hits a grounder to the pitcher Casilla. After looking over to third and seeing that Feliz wasn’t going anywhere, Casilla would turn around to get ready to throw to first, only to see that Coste was already there, loading the bases. But, the Phillies would soon run themselves out of a possible big inning, as Eric Bruntlett would hit a grounder to the shortstop Crosby. This time, Crosby would be able to throw Feliz out at home, with Suzuki touching home plate, as Feliz did not immediately move towards home upon contact, while the others would move up a base, leaving the bases still loaded. The next batter, Werth, would then strike out swinging. Utley would then step up to the plate, the bases still loaded and two outs, already having a four hits night, breaking out of his personal slump with two singles, a double and a triple. But, he is still in a slump with runners in scoring position, as, on a 2-1 count, he lines out to Crosby, leaving the bases loaded. The Phillies’ offense still seem to have a problem bringing in men in scoring position, although some aggressive base running in the first would get their first run home as Werth would score on Burrell’s short sac fly, as his running for home would force center fielder Gonzalez to make an offline throw to home plate, thus allowing Werth to score. In the third, with two outs and with Utley on second via a double, his second hit of the night, Utley would be sent home on Jimmy Rollins’ single to right. A strike to home plate by Sweeney would keep Utley from scoring what would have been the Phillies’ second run as he is tagged out by Suzuki. The Phillies are being a bit more aggressive in the field, but the batters still need to discipline themselves if they are either going to get runners home with less than two outs, or with two men out, if they are going to stay in front in the East.
The final game of this three games interleague play series will be an afternoon game at McAfee Coliseum. The game will start at 3:35 pm Eastern (12:35 pm Pacific). The Phillies (45-36) will send to the mound Adam Eaton (2-5, 4.94), who is coming off an awful start against the Angels on June 20, where he would only go five innings, getting roughed up for six runs on twelve hits in the Phillies’ 7-1 lost. Before that, he have had five straight quality starts, although going 2-2 with a no-decision, which was won by the Phillies, during that stretch. Lifetime against the A’s he is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA. He will be trying to get his third victory while trying to continue the recent strings of good starts by the Phillies’ starters. The Athletics (42-35, 2nd American League West) will counter with Rich Harden (4-0, 2.44), who is coming off a no-decision against Florida on June 20, where he would go five and two-thirds innings, giving up an earned run on five hits, in the A’s 7-6 win. He has won his previous start against the Giants on June 14, going six scoreless innings, while giving up only one hit, in the A’s 4-0 win. He will be trying to get his fifth win, while hoping that he can keep the Phillies from regaining their potentcy.
The win puts the Phillies’ lead back to two games as the Marlins had earlier been crushed by the Rays, and keep their leads over the Mets and the Braves at four and four and half games respectively, as both teams have won their games. The Phillies will be trying to make it two wins in a row, as the offense tries to see if they can finally start driving in men in scoring position, before they head on to Texas to meet the Rangers for a weekend series.