Two home runs by a presently red hot Ryan Howard and the Pedro Martinez/Jamie Moyer rain delay show in which the two combined to give up only one run in six and a third innings, as the Phils defeated the Braves, 4-2. The Phils now lead the NL East by eight games as the Marlins also lost last night.
In the second inning, the Phils took a quick 1-0 lead as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his thirty-sixth home run of the season. Then the rain came down, as the game is delayed twice, which would lead to the removal of Phils’ starter Pedro Martinez, who pitched two shut out innings before being replaced by Jamie Moyer, and Braves’ starter Tommy Hanson, who had given up the solo home run to Howard. The Phils, after play resumed, would increase their lead in the fourth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, hits a two-run home run, his thirty-seventh home run of the year, scoring Chase Utley, who had earlier singled, making it a 3-0 Phils’ lead. The Braves would get a run back in the fifth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Matt Diaz hits an RBI double, knocking in Ryan Church, who had earlier hit an infield single, and had gone to second on third baseman Pedro Feliz’s throwing error. The Phils made it 4-1 in the seventh as, with a runner on third and with nobody out, Feliz hits an RBI single, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier tripled. In the eighth, the Braves would cut the Phils’ lead to 4-2 as, with runners on the corners, and with noone out, Chipper Jones hit into an RBI force out, 6-4, as Martin Prado, who had earlier singled, is forced out at second, while Diaz, who had earlier doubled, and then went to third on Prado’s single, scored, while Jones was safe at first. That would be the final score as Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, recording his twenty-sixth save of the season.
Pedro Martinez pitched a no-decision as he pitched two innings before being taken out of the game after two rain delays, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jamie Moyer got the win as he pitched four and a third innings, giving up a run on four hits, while he struck out five. His record is now 12-9 with a 5.12 ERA, his second win since going into the bullpen. Chan Ho Park recorded his ninth hold as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both batters that he would face, striking out one. Ryan Madson recorded his twenty-second hold as he gave up a run on three hits and a walk. Brad Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 inning, recording his twenty-sixth save of the year, striking out a batter. Tommy Hanson took the lost, as he pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out four. His record is now 9-3 with an ERA of 3.15. Kris Medlen also pitched two innings, giving up two runs on three hits, as he struck out two. Eric O’Flaherty pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, as he struck out two. Peter Moylan pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Mike Gonzalez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.
The Phillies had nine hits in the game, with Ryan Howard leading the way, with a single and two home runs, a solo shot and a two-run bomb, accounting for three of the Phils’ runs, while raising his batting average to .272. Pedro Feliz followed with two hits, one of which was a double, as he knocked in the other Phils’ run. Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz had the other four Phils’ hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a triple. The win added some distance between the Phils and their nearest rivals in the East.
The Phillies (74-52, 1st) continues their home stand with the Braves (67-61, 2nd-T) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and the game will be started at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Cliff Lee (12-9 (5-0), 2.63 (0.68)), who is coming off a win against the Mets on August 24, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two unearned runs on six hits, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 6-2 win. He will be trying to make it six wins in a row since being traded to the Phils. The Braves will counter with their ace Derek Lowe (12-8, 4.48), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on August 23, where he pitched five innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Braves’ 7-5 win. He will be trying to match Lee pitch for pitch, to give him his first lost in the NL. The Phillies will be trying to further increase their lead in the East, while at the same time putting an early dagger into the Braves pennant hopes.