After losing a close one, the Phils lose badly while avoiding the added embarrassment of also being no-hitted, as they lose to the Braves, 11-1.
The Braves took the lead in the third as, with two men on, and one man out, Martin Prado hits a two-run double, scoring Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Gregor Blanco’s single off of Phils’ starter Cole Hamels’ leg, and Blanco, who had just singled, giving Atlanta a 2-0 lead. One batter later, Chipper Jones hits an RBI single, scoring Prado, making it 3-0 Braves. The Phils got a run back in the fourth, where, with a runner on third and two men out, Greg Dobbs hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, and then went all the way to third on Jurrjens’ throwing error when he tried to pick him off, making it a 3-1 Braves’ lead. From there, it would be all Atlanta. In the fifth, with two men on, and nobody out, Jones hits another two-run double, sending home Blanco, who had earlier walked and had gone to second on Prado’s single, making it a 5-1 Braves’ lead. Brain McCann then made it 6-1 with a RBI single, knocking in Jones. That would be it for Cole Hamels, as Charlie Manuel would come out of the dugout and replace him with Tyler Walker. Matt Diaz proceeded to greet Walker with a two-run home run, his fourth home run of the game, scoring McCann, and giving Atlanta a commanding 8-1 lead. Three batters later, now with two men out, Diory Hernandez hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season, and of his career, making it 9-1 Braves. Meanwhile, Jurrjens was going through the Phils’ line-up, not giving up a hit until the seventh when, with two men out, Paul Bako broke up the no-hitter attempt with a single. In the eighth, the Braves would increase their lead as, with two men on, and two men out, pinch hitter Yunel Escobar hits an RBI single, scoring Hernandez, who had earlier reached base on a Pedro Feliz’s fielding error, and then moved up to second on a Blanco’s ground out, 6-3, giving the Braves a 10-1 lead, while sending Prado, who had earlier walked, over to third. McCann then followed with an RBI single, scoring Prado, giving Atlanta an 11-1 lead, while sending Escobar to second. That would be the final score as the Phils would go down 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Cole Hamels took the lost, as he went only four innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits and two walks, while he struck out only one. His record is now 4-5 with an ERA of 4.98. Tyler Walker pitched two innings, giving up two runs on two hits, as he struck out a batter. Sergio Escalona pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit, as he struck out one. Jack Taschner pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out two. Jair Jurrgens picked up the win as he pitched a strong game, giving up only a run on a hit and four walks, while he struck out six. His record is now 6-6 with an ERA of 2.73. Kris Medlen and Manny Acosta each pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit (Medlen), while striking out one (Acosta) between them.
The Phillies only had two hits in the game, both singles. One was by Paul Bako, who broke up Jurrjens’ no-hitter attempt, and the other was by Shane Victorino. Greg Dobbs knocked in the Phils’ only run, bringing in Jayson Werth via a sacrifice fly, without a hit, thanks to a two-base throwing error by Jurrjens when he tried to pick-off Werth at first base after walking him. The Phillies’ offense seems to have hit the skids, while starting pitching isn’t pitching very deep into games, with the bullpen it hurting as a result. Something have got to give soon, although I have to agree with one of the announcers during last night’s game saying that dropping out of first place might be the best thing for the Phils at the moment, as it would give them something to shoot for again.
The Phils (39-36, 1st) will conclude their losing road trip with one final game with the Braves (37-40, 4th). The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 7:00 pm Eastern time. The Phillies will send to the mound J.A. Happ (5-0, 3.00) who is coming off a complete game shut out win against the Blue Jays on June 27, where he gave up only 5 hits while striking out four, in the Phils’ 10-0 blow out win. He will be going for his sixth win of the year, his fourth since being put into the rotation, while trying to avoid a series sweep for the Phils. The Braves will counter with Javier Vazquez (5-7, 3.04), who is coming off a lost against the Red Sox, where he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only a run on six hits and three walks, as he struck out eight, in the Braves’ 1-0 lost. He will be hoping to get some runs support from the Braves, while hoping to add to the Phils’ offensive woes. The Phils’ lead in the National League East is now down to a half-game over the Marlins.