A melt down in the sixth inning by Jamie Moyer, after the Phils have taken the lead in the fifth, leads to a 7-5 lost at the hands of the Braves. The Phils are now trailing the 1st place Braves by six full games, as the All-Star break nears.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first as Martin Prado starts the game with a lead-off home run, his ninth home run of the season. The Phils tied it up at one-all in the second as, with one man on, and with two men out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI double, scoring Wilson Valdez, who had earlier doubled. The Phils then took the lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run home run, his sixteenth home run of the season, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier walked, to give the Phils a 3-1 lead. Then, in the sixth, the wheels came off. With one out, Prado hits a solo home run, his second home run of the night and his tenth home run of the season, to make it a 3-2 Phils’ lead. Four batters later, the Braves took the lead as, with the bases loaded, via a single to Omar Infante, a double to Chipper Jones, sending Infante to third, and a walk to Troy Glaus, and with still one man out, Brian McCann hits a three-run double, scoring Infante, Jones and Glaus, giving the Braves a 5-3 lead. Matt Diaz then followed with a two-run home run, his first home run of the year, making it a 7-3 Braves’ lead. The Phils would get a run back in the seventh as, with two men out, Shane Victorino hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, making it a 7-4 Braves’ lead. The Phils cut the Braves’ lead down to 7-5 in the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, pinch hitter Ben Francisco hits a pinch hit RBI single, scoring Greg Dobbs, who had earlier singled and then moved to third on pinch hitter Ross Gload’s single, while sending Gload, who had earlier got on base with a pinch hit single, up to second base. But that would end up being the final score as Billy Wagner would put the Phils down in order in the ninth for his nineteenth save of the year.
Jamie Moyer took the lost as he went five and one-thirds innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out three. His record is now 9-8 with a 4.51 ERA. Danys Baez, Nelson Figueroa and Jose Contreras combine for three and two-thirds shut out innings, giving up three hits (one hit each) between them, while striking out three (one strikeout each). Kris Medlen gets the win, as he pitches six and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five. His record is now 6-1 with an ERA of 3.19. Jonny Venters records his eighth hold as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Takashi Saito receives his eleventh hold of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on three hits. Billy Wagner receives his nineteenth save of the year as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two batters.
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Greg Dobbs leading the way with two hits each. Rollins’ two hits were doubles, knocking in a run, while Howard’s two hits were a single and a two-run home run, and Dobbs’ two hits were both singles. Shane Victorino, Wilson Valdez, pinch hitter Ross Gload and pinch hitter Ben Francisco had the other four Phils’ hits, with Victorino’s hit being a solo home run, Waldez’s hit being a double, and Gload and Francisco’s hits being pinch hit singles, with Francisco knocking in a run.The Phils’ offense is still looking to do the following, with the All-Star Break just around the corner: getting key base hits, creating well sustained rallies and coming from behind to win late in games.
The Phils (43-40, 3rd NL East) start a four-game series with the Reds (49-37, 1st NL Central), starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (5-3, 4.70), who is coming off a complete game victory against the Pirates on July 3, as he gave up four runs, three of which were earned, on ten hits and three walks, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 12-4 rout. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched nineteen and one-third innings, giving up fifteen runs, twelve of which were earned, on twenty-four hits and four walks, while he struck out nine batters. He will be trying to continue the momentum from his last start, while hoping that the ‘bad’ Kendrick won’t make an appearance at some point in the game. The Reds will counter with Johnny Cueto (8-2, 3.56), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cubs on July 3, as he pitched five innings, giving up just seven hits and five walks, while striking out two, in the Reds’ 3-1 lost. In his last three starts, he is 2-0 with a no-decision, as he pitched twenty innings, giving up just one run on twenty scattered hits and nine walks, while striking out only six. He will be going for his ninth win of the season, and his second win this season against the Phils. The Phils will be trying to win their first series since their home away from home series against the Blue Jays, while trying to keep from slipping any further behind the Braves in the East.