Massive home runs off of the bats of Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard and a strong pitching performance by Joe Blanton help lead the Phils to a sweep of the D-backs, as they defeated Arizona 12-3. The Phils, with the Marlins’ lost to the Astros, now hold a six-and-a-half games lead over both the fish and the Braves, as they head north to face a weaken Mets team for four games, and without having to face their major nemesis Johan Santana.
The Phils took an early lead in the first inning as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI double, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier tripled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Chase Utley, who had just walked, over to third base. Two batters later, with two men still on base, and now with two outs, Ben Francisco hits an RBI single, scoring both Utley and Howard, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The D-backs got a run back in the second as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Alex Romero hits an RBI single, scoring Mark Reynolds, who had earlier singled, had moved up to second on Chad Tracy’s single, and had then gone to third on Trent Oeltjen’s force out, 4-6, wiping out Tracy at second, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Oeltjen, who was safe at first on the force out, to go to third. The D-backs would make it 3-2 Phils in the fourth as, with a man on second and with nobody out, Miguel Montero hits an RBI double, knocking in Reynolds, who had earlier singled. The next batter, Tracy, would knock in Montero, tying the ballgame at three-all. The Phils would regain the lead in their half of the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Jayson Werth, who then reached second safely on a throwing error by D-backs’ third baseman Reynolds on a Francisco ground ball, and a walk to Carlos Ruiz, moving Werth up to third and Francisco over to second, with one man out, as Phils’ starter Joe Blanton hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, for the inning’s second out, as he brought home Werth to give the Phils’ a 4-3 lead. The Phils added to their lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a two-run home run, his twenty-eighth home run of the season, knocking in Howard, who had earlier walked, making it a 6-3 Phils’ lead. The Phils then proceeded to break the game wide open in the sixth as Carlos Ruiz lead off the inning with a home run, his seventh home run of the year, giving the Phils a 7-3 lead. Four batters later, with two men on, and with one man out, Utley hits an RBI single, scoring Blanton, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on Jimmy Rollins’ single, making it 8-3 Phils, while sending Rollins, who had earlier singled, over to third, while Utley would go to second base on the throw. The Phils then made 11-3 as Howard would hit a three-run bomb into the visitor’s bullpen in center field, his thirty-second home run of the season, knocking in both Rollins and Utley. The Phils would then make it 12-3 in the seventh as, with the bases loaded via a walk to Carlos Ruiz, a single by Blanton and an infield single by Rollins, and with nobody out, Victorino hits into an RBI force out, scoring Ruiz as Blanton was out at third base, 5-unassisted, while Rollins was safe at second and Victorino was safe at first. That would be the final score as Chad Durbin pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Joe Blanton got the victory as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up three runs on ten hits, while striking out four batters. His record is now 8-6 with an ERA of 3.86. Chad Durbin pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter. Doug Davis took the lost as he went five innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on five hits and four walks, as he struck out six. His record is now 7-11 with a 3.77 ERA. Leo Rosales pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs on three hits. Daniel Schlereth pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk. Esmerling Vasquez pitched an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Chad Qualls pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men whom he would face, striking out one.
The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and, surprise, Joe Blanton, leading the team with two hits each, with one of Howard’s hits being a double and the other one being a three-run blast, knocking in four of the Phils’ runs, while one of Werth’s two hits was a two-run home run, as he knocked in two runs. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ben Francisco and Carlos Ruiz had the other four Phils’ hit, with Victorino hitting a triple and Ruiz hitting a solo home run. Besides Howard’s four RBIs, Werth’s two and Ruiz’s one, Victorino knocked in a run on a force out, Utley would knock in one, Francisco would knock in two runs and Blanton would bring home one with a ground out. The Phils this time were able to score as many runs as they had hits in the ballgame, this time taking advantage of their scoring opportunities.
The Phillies (69-49, 1st) will now go to New York to face the Mets (56-65, 4th) for a four games series, starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citi Field and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (7-7, 4.69), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on August 15, where he went six innings, giving up two runs on three hits and four walks, while striking out two, in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying to get his stuff back. The Mets will counter with Mike Pelfrey (8-8, 4.75), who is coming off a no-decision of his own against the Giants on August 16, as he went seven and a third innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Mets’ 3-2 win. He will be trying for his ninth win of the season. The Phillies will be trying to bury the Mets even lower in the standings, while at the same time trying to put some more distance between themselves and both the Braves and the Marlins, as the later two teams face each other for three games in Atlanta.