A ninth inning blast off of the bat of Ryan Howard help to propel the Phils to a late inning win over the Braves, 3-2. Their present winning streak is up to four games, while they still lead the Marlins by four and a half games as they increased their lead over Atlanta to six games.
The Braves took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning as, with a runner on base and with one out, Chipper Jones hits an RBI single, knocking in Nate McLouth, who had earlier doubled, and had gone on to third on Martin Prado’s ground out, 6-3. The Phils took the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on base, and with nobody out, Chase Utley hits a two-run bomb, his twenty-fourth home run of the season, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. The Braves then tied the game up at two-all in their half of the fourth as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Ryan Church hits a RBI double, knocking in Yunel Escobar, who had earlier reached base on a Pedro Feliz fielding error. The score would remain tied at 2-2 until the top of the ninth when, with the count 2-1, Ryan Howard hits a slider into center field to give the Phils the 3-2 lead. That would remain the final score as Brad Lidge was able to nail down his twenty-second save of the season, despite giving up a single to Adam LaRoche and a walk to pinch hitter Greg Norton, with two out, as he got McLouth to fly out to left for the final out.
Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on seven hits and a walk, while he struck out two. Ryan Madson got the win as he pitched a quick 1-2-3 inning. His record is now 4-4 with a 3.02 ERA. Brad Lidge recorded his twenty-second save of the season, as he gave up just one hit and a walk, while striking out one. Jair Jurrjens also got a no-decision as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk, as he struck out six. Mike Gonzalez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. Rafael Soriano took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out the side. His record is now 1-4 with an ERA of 2.55.
The Phils had only seven hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the way with two hits, both singles, as he raised his batting average to .262. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and pinch hitter Ben Francisco followed with one hit apiece, with Rollins and Francisco’s hits being doubles, while Utley’s hit was a two-run home run and Howard’s hit was a solo home run. The Phils have so far won each of their games on the present road trip, in fact winning two very close games. They hope to continue to build on their lead over both the Braves and the rest of the NL East.
The Phillies (65-48, 1st) continue their three-games series with the Braves (60-55, 3rd) with an afternoon game that is being televised nationally by Fox Sports. The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 4 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Cole Hamels (7-7, 4.77), who is coming off of a lost on August 8 to the Marlins, as he gave up four runs on five hits and four walks, as he struck out four in five and one-third innings of work in the Phils’ 6-4 lost. He will be trying to rebound from his last few bad outings. The Braves will counter with Kenshin Kawakami (5-9, 4.12), who is coming off a no-decision on August 8 against the Dodgers, where he pitched seven shutout innings, giving up just four hits and three walks, while striking out four, in the Braves’ 2-1 win. He will be trying to shut down the Phils again, like he did during his previous start against them in May. The Phils will be trying to build on their lead in the NL East, while attempting to bury the Braves deep in third place.