Ryan Howard hits his second grand slam of the season, which placed him in a first place tie with Mike Schmidt for the most career grand slams hit by a Phil with seven each, help propel the Phils to a 6-1 win over the Central Division-leading Cardinals, as Joe Blanton collected his first victory of the 2009 season.
The Cardinals took a quick 1-0 lead in the third, as, with a runner on second, and two outs, Joe Thurston hits an RBI ground rule double, scoring Cardinals’ starter Kyle Lohse, who had earlier reached first base after being hit by the pitch, and had moved on to second on Skip Schumaker’s ground out, 1-3. The Phils took in the lead in the fourth, as, with one man on, and nobody out, Jayson Werth hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the year, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had earlier singled, making it 2-1 Phillies. In the fifth, with the bases loaded, via singles to Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino and Chase Utley being hit by the pitch, and with only one out, Howard drilled a 1-1 slider into right field for a grand slam home run, his fifth home run of the year, his second grand slam of the season, and the seventh of his career, knocking in Rollins, Victorino and Utley, as the Phils took a 6-1 lead. The Cardinals would threathen to get back into the ballgame in the bottom of the sixth, as they loaded up the bases via a walk to Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel being hit by the pitch and Yadier Molina reaching base on a fielder’s choice grounder to Pedro Feliz, who was unable to throw out Ankiel at second base, with only one man out. But Blanton would get out of the jam by first striking out Tyler Greene swinging on a 3-2 fastball for the inning’s second out, and then getting pinch hitter Brian Barden to hit into a 6-4 force out at second base, wiping out Molina. That would be it for the Cardinals as the Phillies’ bullpen would take over and allow only two Cardinals’ batters to reach base during the last three innings. Meanwhile, in the eighth, Ankiel would be taken out of the game, after having make a catch of a fly ball hit by Feliz, as he tripped on his feet and ended up slamming into the outfield wall, head first. He would be driven out of the ballgame, giving a thumbs up to the fans signalling that he was okay. Hopefully, he is, as X-rays and a CT scan taken later has both proven negative.
Joe Blanton took the win, as he pitched six strong innings, giving up a run on four hits, two walks and two hit batters, while striking out three. His record is now 1-2 with an ERA of 6.84. Scott Eyre, Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin then came in to pitch three scoreless innings, giving up only one hit (Eyre) and a hit batter (Durbin). Kyle Lohse took the lost, as he was able to go only four and a third innings, giving up six runs on seven hits, two walks and a hit batter, while he struck out four. His record is now 3-1 with a 3.22 ERA. Trever Miller pitched a third of an inning, giving up no hits, while he struck out a batter. Blaine Boyer pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Denny Reyes pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, as he struck out two. Kyle McClellan pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Ryan Franklin and Brad Thompson would each pitch a scoreless inning, with each pitcher striking out a batter.
The Phillies had eight hits in the game, with Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard both leading the team with two hits each. Werth’s hits would be a double and a two-run home run, raising his batting average to .262, while Howard’s hits would be a single and a grand slam home run, raising his average to .293. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz would get the other four Phillies’ hits, all singles. Werth (2) and Howard (4) would collect the Phils six RBIs.
The Phillies (13-10, 2nd National League East) will conclude their two-games series with the Cardinals (17-9, 1st National League Central), in St. Louis. The game will be played tonight at Busch Stadium (III) and will begin at 8:15 pm Eastern (7:15 pm Central). The Phils will send to the mound Brett Myers (1-2, 4.83), who is coming off a lost to the Nationals on April 29, where he went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Phillies’ 4-1 lost. He will be trying to even up his record, while also going for his fourth straight quality start. His opponent will be Adam Wainwright (3-0, 2.76), who is coming off a win against the Braves, also on April 29, as he pitched six innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits and five walks, while striking out two, in the Cardinals’ 5-3 win. He will be going for his fourth win of the year. The Phillies will be trying to leave St. Louis with a series sweep, before going on to New York for their first visit to the new Citi Field.