The Phils’ offense came out swinging and using small ball until finally breaking the game wide open in the eighth as they defeated the Marlins, 9-3. Their magic number is now down to five (Braves) while they shrink their magic number against the Marlins down to four.
The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Miguel Cairo hits into an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Ryan Howard who had earlier singled, went to second on Jayson Werth’s walk and moved over to third on Raul Ibanez’s ground out, 3-unassisted. The Phils would increase their lead in the third as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Howard hit into a force out, 4-6, bringing home Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, and would move on to third on Shane Victorino’s single, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, as Victorino was thrown out at second for the inning’s second out. The Phils then made it 4-0 in the fifth as, with runners on second and third, and with two men out, Werth hits a two-run single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Chase Utley’s single, then stole third, and Utley, who had earlier singled, and stole second as part of a double steal. The Phils then held on to their lead as Joe Blanton kept the Marlins off the board, giving up only two hits and two walks, while striking out nine. The Phils then broke the game wide open in the eighth inning. Ibanez made it a 5-0 Phils’ lead with a solo home run, his thirty-second home run of the season, with one man out. The next two batters, Cairo and Paul Bako, then followed with singles, with Cairo going on to third base, while Bako would go to second on the throw. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs then loaded the bases by taking an intentional walk. Rollins then hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Cairo and making it a 6-0 Phils’ lead. After Victorino walked, reloading the bases, as Bako moved up to third, and pinch runner Eric Bruntlett moved over to second, before Bako scored and Bruntlett continued on to third as ball four to Victorino ended up being a wild pitch, giving the Phils a 7-0 lead. After Utley walked to load up the bases yet again, as Victorino moved up to second, Howard hits a two-run single, knocking in both Bruntlett and Victorino, making it 9-0 Phils, while sending Utley over to third, as the Phils batted around. The Marlins would then score in their half of the eighth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Hanley Ramirez hits an RBI double, knocking in Chris Coghlan, who had earlier singled and had gone up to second on Nick Johnson’s walk, making it a 9-1 Phils’ lead, while moving Johnson over to second base. Two batters later, now with two men out, Dan Uggla hits a two-run single, knocking in both Johnson and Ramirez, cutting the Phils’ lead to 9-3. But, that would be it as Clay Condrey would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth.
Joe Blanton took the win as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up only two hits and two walks, while striking out nine. His record is now 11-7 with a 3.82 ERA. Sergio Escalona pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs on two hits and a walk. Tyler Walker pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Clay Condrey pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Josh Johnson took the lost as he went just five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out ten. His record is now 15-5 with a 3.12 ERA. Burke Badenhop pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out five. Andrew Miller pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit, three walks and a wild pitch, while striking out one. Cristhian Martinez pitched a scoreless inning.
The Phils had eleven hits in the game, with Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard and Miguel Cairo each leading the team with two hits each, with one of Cairo’s hits being a double. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Paul Bako had the other five Phils’ hit, with Ibanez’s hit being a solo home run. Besides Ibanez’s RBI, Howard knocked in three of the Phils’ runs, Rollins knocked in one with a sac fly, Cairo brought one home with a ground out and Werth knocked home two with a single. The Phils’ offense used small ball to their advantage in the first game of the twin-bill.
The Phils (88-61, 1st) will continue their three-games series with the Marlins (80-71, 3rd) with the second game of their doubleheader. The second game is already in progress. The Phils will send to the mound the Marlins killer Jamie Moyer (12-9, 5.05), who last pitched on September 12 against the Mets, receiving a no-decision as he went seven innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 10-9 lost. He will be trying to lead the Phils to a doubleheader sweep. The Marlins will oppose him with Anibal Sanchez (2-7, 4.50), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on September 17, as he pitched only five innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the Marlins’ 3-2 lost. He will be trying to keep the fish from being swept in the doubleheader. The Phils will be trying to sweep the twin-bill, to place the Marlins on the brink of elimination.