The Phils continue their recent winning ways at home, as they crush the Cubs, 10-1, increasing their winning streak at home to six games and their overall winning streak to nine. They are now a .500 team (23-23) at home.
The Phils took an early lead in the first as, with two men on, and two men out, Raul Ibanez hits a three-run home run, his twenty-fifth home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, and then went to third on Shane Victorino’s double, and Victorino, who had earlier doubled, making it 3-0 Phils. The Phils increased their lead in the second as, with one man on, and nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits a two-run home run, his fourth home run of the year, knocking in Pedro Feliz, who had just walked, making it 5-0 Phils. The Phils would then bust it wide open in the fourth. With two men on, and nobody out, Ruiz hits an RBI double, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked and had gone to second on Feliz’s single, making it a 6-0 Phils’ lead, and sending Feliz, who had earlier singled, to third. Two batters later, now with one man out, Rollins hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Feliz, giving the Phils a 7-0 lead, while Ruiz would move up to third. It would become 8-0 Phils as Cubs’ left fielder Alfonso Soriano committed a fielding error on Victorino’s fly ball, allowing Ruiz to score, while Victorino was safe at second on the two-base error. Chase Utley would make it 9-0 Phils with an RBI single, scoring Victorino, before he would be tagged out at second base when he tried to move up to second on the throw, 9-3. The Cubs would get a run back in the fifth as, with a runner on third, and one man out, Ryan Theriot hits an RBI single, scoring Andres Blanco, who had earlier doubled, and then went to third on Kosuke Fukudome’s ground out, 4-3, making it a 9-1 Phils’ lead. Other than that, Phils’ starter Rodrigo Lopez had an easy six innings, as he gave up only one run on five hits and three walks, before handing the ball over to Chad Durbin in the seventh. In the eighth, Ryan Howard made it 10-1 Phils with a lead-off home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year. Durbin then proceeded to end the game by pitching a scoreless ninth inning as he got Koyie Hill to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out at second Soriano, who had earlier singled, to record his first save of the year.
Rodrigo Lopez got the win as he pitched six strong innings, giving up only one run on five hits and three walks, as he struck out five. His record is now 2-0 with an ERA of 2.60. Chad Durbin pitched three scoreless inning, giving up only a hit, while striking out two, as he recorded his first save of the year. Ted Lilly took the lost as he went only four innings, giving up nine runs, only seven of which were earned, on eight hits and two walks, as he struck out six. His record is now 9-7 with a 3.59 ERA. Jeff Stevens and Aaron Heilman together pitched three scoreless innings, while striking out two batters (one strikeout apiece). Angel Guzman pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit while striking out two.
The Phils collected nine hits in the ballgame, with Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz leading the way with two hits a piece, with one of Victorino’s hits being a double, while Ruiz’s two hits were a double and a two-run home run, knocking in three runs. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz had the other five Phils’ hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a three-run home run, and Howard’s being a solo shot. Besides Ibanez and Ruiz’s three RBIs and Howard’s one, Rollins and Utley both knocked in a run, with Rollins’ being on a sac fly. The Phils have now even their record at home as they have won ten of their last eleven home games and thirteen of their last fourteen overall, since being swept by the Braves. They will be trying to make it ten wins in a row tonight.
The Phillies (52-38, 1st National League East) will continue their three-games set with the Cubs (47-44, 2nd National League Central) with a night game. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm. The Phils’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-4, 4.44) who last start, on July 18 against the Marlins, was cancelled due to rain after he had given up two runs in the first inning. He will once again be going for his seventh win of the season. The Cubs will counter with Rich Harden (6-6, 5.06), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on July 16, when he went six innings, giving up no runs on three hits, while striking out seven, in the Cubs 6-2 win. He will be trying for his seventh win as well, while hoping that he will be able to stop the presently hot Phillies’ offense. The Phils will be going for their tenth win in a row tonight, while trying to further increase their lead in the NL East.