Despite throwing his second straight strong outing since coming off the disable list, Joe Blanton takes the lost as the Phils’ offense is unable to capitalize on several scoring opportunities as the Phils lost to the Braves, 4-1.
The Phils took the lead in the second as, with two men on, and with two men out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, knocking in Brian Schneider, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on Joe Blanton’s single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Blanton, who had earlier singled, up to second base. Blanton then took control, stopping several Braves’ rallies, while not giving up a hit, until Braves’ starter Kris Medlen got a lead-off single in the fifth, while first Medlen, and then reliever Eric O’Flaherty, kept the Phils from getting any more runs. Then the Braves got back into the game in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Eric Hinske hits an RBI double, knocking in Chipper Jones, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Brian McCann’s single, then went to third on Troy Glaus’ fly out to center, tying the game up at one-all, while sending McCann up to third. One batter later, the Braves took the lead on an RBI single by Melky Cabrera, scoring McCann, giving the Braves a 2-1 lead, while sending Hinske over to third. The Braves then made it 3-1 as Omar Infante hits a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Hinske, while Cabrera moved up to second. The Braves then added an insurance run in the ninth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Glaus hits an RBI single, scoring Nate McLouth, who had earlier singled, went to second on Martin Prado’s sacrifice bunt, then moved up to third on Jones’ ground out, 4-3, giving the Braves a 4-1 lead, while sending McCann, who had just walked, up to second base. That would be the final score as Billy Wagner put the Phils’ down 1-2-3, to records his fourth save of the year.
Joe Blanton took the lose as he pitches six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out three. His record is now 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA. J.C. Romero, Chad Durbin and Jose Contreras combine for two scoreless innings, giving up only three walks (Romero (2), Contreras (1)), while striking out two batters (Romero and Chad one batter each). Danys Baez pitches an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Kris Medlen receives a no-decision as he pitches four and a third innings, giving up a run on nine hits, as he strikes out three. Eric O’Flaherty got the win as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face. His record is now 2-1 with an ERA of 2.19. Craig Kimbrel records his first hold of the season as he goes a third of an inning, giving up two walks. Peter Moylan records his fifth hold of the year as he pitches one and one-third scoreless innings, giving up two walks. Jonny Venters records his first hold of the year as he pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Takashi Saito records his second hold of the season as he pitches a scoreless inning, striking out two batters. Billy Wagner records his fourth save of the year as he throws a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter.
The Phils had nine hits, all singles, in the game, unable to deliever a key hit to take an early commanding lead. Placido Polanco had three hits. Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Brian Schneider, Carlos Ruiz and Joe Blanton had the other six hits, with Victorino knocking in the only Phil run.
The Phils (18-12, 1st) will conclude their series and the home stand with an afternoon game against the Braves (13-17, 5th). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (2-2, 4.42), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on May 4, when he went eight plus innings, giving up just one run on eight hits and two walks, as he struck out eight, in the Phils’ 2-1 extra-innings walk-off win. He will try to build on his two previous strong starts while trying for his third win of the season. The Braves will counter with Kenshin Kawakami (0-5, 5.47), who is coming off a lost against the Nationals on May 4, as he went only five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, while he struck out one, in the Braves’ 6-3 lost. He will be trying to gain his first win of the season. The Phils will be trying to end their good home stand on a high note before going on the road to face the Rockies in Denver.