Two bombs from the big man Ryan Howard help to power the Phils to a series win over the Braves, as they defeat Atlanta, 4-1. The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins in the NL East is now four-and-a-half games as Florida splits a make up doubleheader with the Rockies.
The Phils took the lead in the second inning as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his twenty-ninth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Braves would tie the game up at one-all in the fourth as, with two men out, Matt Diaz hits a solo home run, his seventh home run of the season. The Phils would regain the lead in the sixth as, with two men on base, and with one man out, Howard hits a three-run home run, his thirtieth home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, who had both singled, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead. That would end up being the final score as J.A. Happ, despite not having his best stuff, would pitch himself out of trouble for seven and two-thirds inning, giving up only three hits to the Braves, while the relief staff would only give up a single and a walk in an inning and a third of work, before Brad Lidge would record his twenty-third save of the year by getting Omar Infante to pop up to Chase Utley for the final out.
J.A. Happ got the win as he pitched seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only one run on three hits and six walks, while striking out three. His record is now 9-2 with an ERA of 2.66, making himself a strong candidate for this year’s Rookie of the Year honors. Ryan Madson pitched a third of an inning, giving up a single. while striking out a batter. Scott Eyre worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk. Brad Lidge got his twenty-third save of the year, after blowing his eighth save of the season the previous afternoon, by getting out the only batter he would face. Javier Vazquez took the lost, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on six hits and two walks, while he sruck out seven. His record is now 10-8 with a 2.99 ERA. Eric O’Flaherty and Kris Medlen combined for two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit (O’Flaherty) and a walk (also O’Flaherty), while striking out a batter (Medlen),
The Phils had just seven hits in the game, with Ryan Howard leading the way with three hits, a single and two home runs, a solo shot and a three-run bomb, knocking in all four Phils runs, as he raised his average to .269. Shane Victorino was next with two hits, one of which was a double, followed by Jimmy Rollins and Pedro Feliz with a hit apiece. The Phils missed sweeping the Braves because of some bad fielding in the ninth inning of Saturday’s ballgame, but they do come home from a very successful road trip, winning all but one of the games, coming back nicely after being swept by the Marlins the previous weekend. They will now come home for a three games series with the Diamondbacks before going back on the road. The short home stamd will start tomorrow night.