A six-run eighth inning leads the Phils’ to their fifth straight win, and their twelfth consecutive win at home, as they come from behind to defeat the Mets, 7-5. A Braves’ lost at home to the Giants put the Phils a game behind the first place Braves.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI double, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on a Josh Thole pass ball, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then loaded up the bases as Jayson Werth and Ben Francisco both got on base with walks, with Ibanez and Werth both moving up a base on Francisco’s walk, and with two men out, when they were turned back by Mets’ starter Jon Niese as he got Carlos Ruiz to strike out swinging for the inning’s final out. The Mets tied the score at one-all in the third as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Jose Reyes hits an RBI single, knocking in Jeff Francoeur, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Luis Castillo’s sacrifice bunt, 5-3, and then went to third on Niese’s ground out, 3-unassisted. The Mets then took the lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Thole hits an RBI single, knocking in David Wright, who had earlier singled, then went to second on Ike Davis’ single, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead, while sending David up to second base. The game would stay 2-1 Mets until the bottom of the eighth when the Phils erupted. The inning started with Mike Sweeney hitting a single to right, his first hit as a Phil. Werth followed with a single to center, sending Sweeney to third, putting runners on the corners. Francisco then came up and hit an RBI single, scoring Sweeney, tying the game at two-all, while sending Werth up to second base. The next batter, Ruiz, hits an RBI single, knocking in Werth, to give the Phils a 3-2 lead, while sending Francisco up to second base. After the Mets replaced Bobby Parnell with Pedro Feliciano, Wilson Valdez greets him with a bunt towards the third base side of the mound. Because of miscommunication between Feliciano and Wright, Valdez’s bunt becomes an infield single, loading up the bases as Francisco moves up to third, and Ruiz stops at second, with no one out. The Phils then took a 4-2 lead as pinch hitter Ross Gload received a walk, forcing in Francisco, while moving up a base both Ruiz and Valdez. Jimmy Rollins made it a 5-2 Phils’ lead with an RBI single, knocking in Ruiz, while sending Valdez to second and Gload to third. After Raul Ibanez strikes out for the first out of the inning, the Mets changed pitchers again, replacing Feliciano with Manny Acosta, Placido Polanco greets him with a sacrifice fly to center, for the second out of the inning, scoring Valdez, giving the Phils a 6-2 lead. Sweeney, the man who started the inning, then came up, the tenth men in the inning, as the Phils had batted around, then had an RBI single, his second hit of the inning, and his first RBI as a Phil, as he knocked in Gload, making it a 7-2 Phils’ lead, while moving Rollins to third. In the ninth, the Mets tried to get back into the game as, with two men on, and with two men out, pinch hitter Mike Hessman hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the year, scoring Davis, who had earlier singled, then went up to second on Francoeur’s single, and Francoeur, who had just singled, making it a 7-5 Phils’ lead. But that would be the end of the threat as Brad Lidge came in and nailed down his thirteenth save of the season by striking out pinch hitter Jesus Feliciano swinging to end the game.
Joe Blanton gets a no-decision as he pitches seven strong innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits, while striking out four. Chad Durbin gets the win as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. His record is now 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA. Danys Baez pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, while striking out a batter. J.C. Romero pitched to one batter, giving up a run on one hit, a home run. Brad Lidge records his thirteenth save of the year by striking out the only man whom he would face. Jon Niese also receives a no-decision as he also pitches seven strong innings, giving up just a run on four hits, five walks and a pass ball, while striking out seven. Bobby Parnell blew his second save of the year before taking the lost, as he pitched to four batters, giving up four runs on four hits. His record is now 0-1 with a 4.12 ERA. Pedro Feliciano pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, as he strikes out a batter. Manny Acosta pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit.
The Phils had eleven hits in the game, with seven of them coming in the six-run eighth. Mike Sweeney, Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz lead the team with two hits each, all singles, with Sweeney and Ruiz both knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, Placido Polanco, Ben Francisco and Wilson Valdez had the other five Phils’ hit, with Rollins, Ibanez, Francisco and Valdez each having a single, with Rollins and Valdez both knocking in a run, while Polanco had a double, as he knocked in two runs, one by sac fly. Ross Gload brought in the other run, via a bases loaded walk. The Phils’ offense was kept quiet by Niese, after losing a chance in the first to take a big lead, before erupting in the eighth.
The Phils (61-48, 2nd) continue their weekend series with the Mets (54-55, 3rd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.56), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on August 1, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on six hits, as he struck out ten, in the Phils’ 6-4 win. In his last three starts, his record is three no-decisions, as he pitched twenty innings, as he gave up seven runs on thirteen hits and five walks, while striking out twenty-five. Hamels will be trying to win his first start since his win against the Reds on July 11, four no-decisions ago. The Mets will counter with their ace Johan Santana (8-6, 3.20), who is coming off a lost against the Braves on August 2, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out eleven, in the Mets’ 4-1 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched nineteen and two-thirds innings, giving up twelve runs on twenty-seven hits and four walks, while striking out seventeen. He will be trying to even up the series, while hoping that the Phils won’t bomb him like they did earlier in the season. The Phils will be going for their second straight series win, and their fourth straight series win at home, while hoping that they will end up tied for first with the Braves.