A five-run eight give the Phils control of the wild card race, as they defeat the Giants, 9-3. The Phils would prefer having control of the NL East.
The Giants took the lead in the first as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Aubrey Huff hits into a doubleplay, 4-6-3, scoring Andres Torres, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Buster Posey’s single, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead, while Posey, who had just singled, was wiped out at first. The next batter, former Phil Pat Burrell, made it a 2-0 Giants’ lead as he hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the season. The Phils would tie up the game at two-all in the fifth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, knocking in Mike Sweeney, who had earlier singled, went to second on Carlos Ruiz’s walk, and then went to third on Roy Oswalt’s sacrifice bunt, and Ruiz, who had earlier walked, and then went to second on Oswalt’s sac bunt. The Phils took the lead in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Shane Victorino hits a two-run double, knocking in Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Jayson Werth’s double, and Werth, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead. The Giants would get a run back in the seventh as, with one man out, Jose Guillen hits a solo home run, his seventeenth home run of the year, making it a 4-3 Phils’ lead. The Phils then put the game out of reach in the eighth as, with the bases loaded via a Victorino single, who then stole second, a walk to Sweeney and a single by Raul Ibanez, moving both Victornio and Sweeney up a base, and with nobody out, Ruiz hits a two-run double, scoring both Victorino and Sweeney, making it a 6-3 Phils’ lead, while sending Ibanez up to third base. Two batters later, with runners still on second and third, and now with one man out, the Phils took a 7-3 lead as Rollins hit an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, while sending Ruiz on to third base. The Phils then made it an 8-3 lead as, Ruiz would score on a Ramon Ramirez balk, when it was originally thought that he had caught Rollins off first base, but it turned out that his fake move to third, then throw over to first base was a balk because he did not move his leg in the move, thus allowing Ruiz to cross the plate, while allowing Rollins, who was tagged out, to instead be safe at second. The end result is that Giants manager Bruce Bochy would be ejected from the game by home plate umpire Mark Carlson for arguing the play. It then became a 9-3 Phils’ lead as, after Ramirez had thrown a wild pitch, allowing Rollins to reach third, Chase Utley hits a grounder to second baseman Mike Fontenot, who first bobble the ball, before committing a throwing error to first, allowing Rollins to score, and for Utley to reach second base. That would be the final score as Chad Durbin would easily handle the Giants in the ninth, getting Juan Uribe to end the game by flying out to left.
Roy Oswalt gets the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits, while striking out seven. His record is now 2-1 (8-13) with a 3.08 (3.36) ERA. Ryan Madson records his sixth hold as he pitches a scoreless inning, striking out two batters, one of whom would get on base because of a passed ball by Carlos Ruiz. Chad Durbin pitches a scoreless inning as well, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Barry Zito took the lost as he pitches five innings plus three batters, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk. His record is now 8-7 with a 3.56 ERA. Santiago Casilla pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Chris Ray pitches to four batters, giving up four runs on three hits and a walk. Ramon Ramirez pitches an inning, giving up an unearned run on a hit, a balk and a wild pitch.
The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Placido Polanco leading the team with four hits, all singles, as he went 4-5, as he raised his average to .325. He was followed by Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez, who each had two hits, with Rollins and Ibanez’s hits being singles, with Rollins knocking in three runs, while Victorino’s hits were a single and a double, knocking in two runs. Jayson Werth, Mike Sweeney and Carlos Ruiz had the other three Phils’ hits, with Werth and Ruiz’s hits being doubles, with Ruiz knocking in two runs, while Sweeney’s hit was a single. The other two Phils’ runs came in on a balk and an error. The offense once again took advantage of opponents’ mistakes in the field while making few of their own.
The Phils (67-51, 2nd NL East) wil continue their three-game series with the Giants (67-53, 2nd NL West) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, weather permitting, and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.69), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on August 12, when he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out three, in the Phils’ dramatic 10-9 walk-off win. In his last three starts, he has three no-decisions, as he had pitched eighteen and two-thirds innings, giving up ten runs on twenty-four hits and five walks, while striking out fifteen. He will be trying for his first win in about a month. The Giants will counter with Matt Cain (9-9, 3.11), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cubs on August 12, as he went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk, while he struck out nine, in the Giants’ 8-7 win. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched eighteen and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on eighteen hits and four walks, while striking out twenty batters. He will be trying for his tenth win of the year, and to get the Giants once again even in the wild card race. The Phils will be going for the series win, while hoping to once again shrink the Braves’ lead in the East.