The Phillies, thanks to grand slams by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez, were able to defeat the Washington Nationals, 13-11, as starting pitching once again failed them.
Washington took a quick 1-0 lead, as, with the bases loaded via singles to Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns and a walk to Jesus Flores, and with one man out, Alberto Gonzalez knocked in Dunn with a sacrifice fly, while sending Kearns over to third. The next batter, Nationals’ starter Shairon Martis, helped his own cause by hitting an RBI single, knocking in Kearns, while sending Flores over to second base. The Phillies would quickly tie the game up in their half of the second. With runners on second and third, with no one out, Greg Dobbs hits an RBI single, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, and had move to third on Raul Ibanez’s double, while sending Ibanez, who had earlier doubled, over to third. The score was then tied up at two-all as Lou Marson hits into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Dobbs at second, as Ibanez scored. The Nats retook the lead in the third, as, with a runner on first, and no one out, Ryan Zimmerman hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the year, scoring Nick Johnson, who had earlier walked, making it 4-2 Nationals. Two batters later, Elijah Dukes made it a 5-2 Nationals’ lead as he hits a solo home run, his third home run of the season. It became 6-2 Nationals in the fifth, as Zimmerman hits a lead-off solo home run, his fourth home run of the season, and his second of the ball game. But the Phils would come back to tie it up at six all in their half of the fifth, as with the bases loaded via singles by Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley, with one man out, Ryan Howard hits a grand slam home run to center field, his fourth home run of the season and the sixth grand slam home run of his career, scoring Rollins, Victorino and Utley. But, the Nats regained the lead in the sixth, as with the bases loaded via a double to Anderson Hernandez, an intentional walk to Zimmerman, and a walk to Dunn, with two men out, Dukes walked, bringing in Hernandez, making it 7-6 Nationals. The Phils would tie it up at seven-all in the bottom of the sixth, as, with runners on second and third, and no one out, Rollins hits an RBI double on a ball that was misplayed in foul territiory by third baseman Zimmerman that landed fair, scoring Marson, who had earlier walked, and had moved to third base on pinch hitter Pedro Feliz’s double, while Feliz would only end up on third. Sadly, the Phils would be unable to do more damage as Victorino grounded out back to the pitcher, 1-3 for the inning’s first out, and after Utley was hit by the pitch, loading the bases, Howard this time lined out into a double play, 3-unassisted, as Johnson beat Utley back to the bag. The Nationals retook the lead in the top of the eighth, as with a runner on first, and no one out, Johnson hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the year, scoring Hernandez, who had earlier walked, making it 9-7 Nats. Two batters later, with a man on first, and still nobody out, Dunn hits a two-run home run, his fifth home run of the season, scoring Zimmerman, who had earlier walked, to give the Nationals an 11-7 lead. But, the Phils would come right back in their half of the eighth. With runners on second and third, and one out, Victorino hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Feliz, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to third base on Rollins’ second double of the night, making it 11-8 Nationals. Utley then hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins, and cutting the Nats’ lead down to 11-9. Howard and Werth followed with a pair of walks, loading the bases for Ibanez, with still two men out. On the first swing of the bat, Ibanez hits a fast ball into right field for a grand slam home run, his sixth home run of the year, his eighth career grand slam home run, and the Phils’ second grand slam of the night, as they took the lead 13-11, their first lead of the ball game. Ryan Madson then came into the game to record his first save of the season, as he shut down the Nats, giving up only a single.
Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he lasted only four and a thirds innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out three. Jack Taschner pitched an inning and a third, giving up a run on on one hit and two walks. Clay Condrey pitched one and one-thirds scoreless innings, giving up a walk, as he struck out two batters. Scott Eyre faced only four batters, giving up four runs on two hits, both home runs, and three walks. J.A. Happ picked up the win as he pitched an inning, giving up no runs, while giving up only a walk. His record is now 1-0 with a 4.38 ERA. Ryan Madson recorded his first save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up just one hit, as he struck out two. Shairon Martis also received a no decision, as he went five innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out three. Julian Tavarez recorded his first blown save of the year, as he allowed a run to score, while pitching one-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits. Mike Hinckley pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs. Kip Wells pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two. Garrett Mock pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on three hits, while striking out a batter. Joel Hanrahan took the lost as he blew the save for the third time this year, as he gave up three runs on one hit and two walks, as he struck out a batter in a third of an inning. His record is now 0-1 with a 8.64 ERA.
The Phillies had fourteen hits in the game, with both Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez leading the way with three hits apiece. Rollins had a single and two doubles, knocking in a run, while scoring two, as he raised his average up to .192, as he may be showing signs of coming out of his slump. Ibanez had a single, a double and a grand slam home run, the eighth one in his career, as he knocked in four runs, while scoring twice, raising his average to .342. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz each had two hits, with both Victorino and Feliz recording a double. Ryan Howard and Greg Dobbs recorded the other two hits, with Howard’s hit being a grand slam home run, his sixth career grand slam, leaving him just one short of the Phillies’ record of seven career grand slams, set by Mike Schmidt. The two grand slams in one game was last done by the Phils on September 9, 2003, when Tomas Perez and Jason Michaels hit grand slams against the Braves. Besides Rollins’ RBI, and the four RBIs posted by both Howard and Ibanez, Victorino, Utley, and Dobbs would record the other three. The Phillies’ pitching staff, after giving up none on Sunday, gave up five home runs last night, three by Blanton, and two by Eyre, which leaves Ryan Madson as the only Phils’ pitcher who has so far not given up a gopher ball. Madson’s stint in the ninth inning occurred because Brad Lidge is presently listed as day-to-day, thanks to inflammation of his right knee. Hopefully this will be a temporary situation as the knee will be checked on today. With the victory, the Phils have now won four games in a row, and are just half a game behind the slumping Marlins, who had lost their seventh straight game to the New York Mets.
The Phillies (10-8, 2nd) will continue their three-games series with the Nationals (4-14, 5th). The game will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Game time is 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (0-2, 9.69), who is still looking for his first win, as he came off a lost against the Brewers on April 23, where he pitched only three and a thirds innings, after being taken out of the game after being hit by a line drive off his left shoulder off the bat of Prince Fielder. He had at that point given up two runs on four hits and no walks, while striking out six, looking like he was getting back his old form, in the Phils’ 6-1 lost. He will be going for his first win while really lowering his ERA. His opponent will be John Lannan (0-2, 4.43), who is also looking for his first win, as he comes off his second straight no-decision, this time against the Braves on April 22, as he went seven innings, giving up no runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Nationals’ 1-0 lost. He will try to record his first win. The Phillies will try to make it five wins in a row, while hoping that they’ll be ending up in first place for the first time this season.