A quality start by Joe Blanton is once again wasted as the Phils’ offense is only able to get four hits as the Phils lose to the Marlins, 3-2. The Phils lead over the fish is now down to six games.
The Marlins took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with one man out, Nick Johnson hits a solo home run, his seventh home run of the year. Two batters later, the Marlins made it a 2-0 lead as, with one man on, and with two men out, Dan Uggla hits an RBI double, knocking in Hanley Ramirez, who had earlier doubled. The Marlins then increased their lead in the second inning as Cody Ross hits a lead-off home run, his nineteenth home run of the year, giving the Marlins a 3-0 lead. The Phils would finally cut the lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and nobody out, Ben Francisco hits a two-run home run, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, making it 3-2 Marlins. That would be the final score as the Phils would be unable to get an offense going.
Joe Blanton took the loss, as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out four. His record is now 7-6 with a 4.02 ERA. Chan Ho Park, Ryan Madson, Scott Eyre and Tyler Walker pitched a combine two and a third shut out innings, giving up just two hits (Park (1), Eyre (1)) and a walk (Eyre), while striking out five (Madson (3), Eyre (1), Walker (1)). Ricky Nolasco got the win as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks, while he struck out seven. His record is now 8-7 with a 4.86 ERA. Renyel Pinto pitched a scoreless inning, recording his eighth hold, as he gave up just two walks, as he struck out a batter. Leo Nunez recorded his tenth save of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Phils had only four hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez having two of them, both singles, raising his average to .306. Ryan Howard and Ben Francisco had the other two Phils’ hits, with Howard’s hit being a double and Francisco’s hit being a two-run home run, knocking in both of the Phils’ runs. The Phils offense is continuing to struggle, not being helped by the fact that not only are the batters in the middle of the lineup not getting any key hits, but they are striking out a lot with men in scoring position. Once they have stopped striking out, they’ll start knocking in runs and the offense will start rolling again.
The Phillies (61-46, 1st) continue their weekend series with the Marlins (56-53, 2nd) tonight with a night game. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (7-6, 4.68), who is coming off a lost to the Giants on August 2, as he went only five plus innings, giving up seven runs on ten hits and two walks, as he struck out only two batters, in the Phils’ 7-3 lost. He will be trying to rebound from that lost and try to even the series in the process. The Marlins will counter with Sean West (3-4, 4.91), who is the probable Marlins’ starter after having been sent down to the minors last month. The Phils will be trying to restart their offense while hoping that Hamels will finally regain his old form, so that they can even up the series and regain their seven games lead in the NL East.