The Phils regain first place in the NL East, as the Braves once again lose to the Pirates, as they will a wild game with the ever pesky Marlins, 8-7.
The Phils took the lead in the second as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had just doubled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Marlins tied the game up at one-all in the third as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Dan Uggla hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Emilio Bonifacio, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Joe Blanton’s fielding error of Ryan Howard throw of a Logan Morrison’s grounder, and went to third on Hanley Ramirez’s ground out, 4-3, while Morrison, who was safe at first on Blanton’s error, and went to second on Ramirez’s ground out, would move up to third. The Marlins then took the lead as Gaby Sanchez hits an RBI single, scoring Morrison, giving the Marlins a 2-1 lead. The Marlins increased their lead to 3-1 in the fourth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Brad Davis hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, scoring Cameron Maybin, who had earlier tripled. The Phils cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-2 in their half of the fourth as, with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the season. The Phils would tie the game up at three-all in the fifth as Shane Victorino started off the inning with a lead-off home run, his seventeenth home run of the year. Two batters later, with two men out, Howard gave the Phils a 4-3 lead as he hits a solo home, his twenty-seventh home run of the season. Two batters later, with a runner on second, and still with two men out, Ibanez hits an RBI single, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier singled, and then stole second base, making it a 5-3 Phils’ lead. In the seventh, the Marlins cut the Phils’ lead down to 5-4 as, with one man on, and with two men out, Morrison hits an RBI double, scoring Bonifacio, who had earlier walked, before going to third on the late throw to the plate. But Chad Durbin got the Phils out of more trouble, as he would got Ramirez to foul out to Howard for the inning’s second out, and after walking Uggla to put runners on the corners, gets Sanchez to end the inning by flying out to right. The Phils then added to their lead in their half of the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Rollins hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, went to second on Davis’ passed ball, then went to third on Chase Utley’s ground out, 3-unassisted, making it a 6-4 Phils’ lead. One batter later, the Phils made it a 7-4 lead as Ibanez hits an RBI triple, scoring Howard, who had earlier been intentionally walked. The Marlins then came back again as the Phils’ bullpen had a meltdown in the eighth. Mike Stanton lead-off the inning by hitting a solo home run off of Jose Contreras, his eighteenth home run of the year, making it a 7-5 Phils’ lead. Three batters later, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Bonifacio hits a single to right, sending Davis, who had earlier doubled, towards home, before he was stopped by the Marlins’ third base coach. But then, Jayson Werth tried to throw Davis out at third, making a bad throw, thus allowing Davis to score after all, making it a 7-6 Phils’ lead on Werth’s throwing error, while allowing Bonifacio to move up to second base. Contreras is then replaced with J.C. Romero, who then commits a balk, allowing Bonifacio to go to third, before walking Morrison, putting runners on the corners, with still two men out. Ryan Madson is then brought in to replace Romero, and then threw a wild pitch, which allowed Bonifacio to score the tying run, tying the game up at seven-all, while allowing Morrison to reach second base. But Madson then ended the inning by striking out Ramirez. The Phils regained the lead in their half of the eighth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier singled, and then stole second base, giving the Phils an 8-7 lead. That would be the final score as Madson pitched the ninth, ending the game by striking out pinch hitter Wes Helms swinging.
Joe Blanton receives a no-decision as he pitches six and a third innings, giving up four runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and two walks, while he struck out five. Antonio Bastardo pitches to one batter, giving up a hit. Chad Durbin collects his thirteenth hold of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, walking a batter. Jose Contreras also collects his thirteenth hold of the season, as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on three hits. J.C. Romero pitches to one batter, walking him, while also committing a balk. Ryan Madson committed his fifth blown save of the year, before winning the game, as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up a walk, while he strikes out three. His record is now 5-2 with an ERA of 2.74. Chris Volstad also receives a no-decision as he pitches five innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out four. Brian Sanches pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Jorge Sosa pitches an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk. Jose Veras took the lost as he pitches an inning, giving up a run on two hits. His record is now 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA.
The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez both leading the team with three hits each, with Polanco’s hits being all singles, as he knock in a run, while Ibanez was a double short of hitting the cycle, as he had a single, a triple and a solo home run, knocking in three runs. Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins all follow with two hits each, with Victorino’s two hits being a single and a solo home run, knocking in a run, with Rollins’ two hits being singles, knocking in two runs, one by sac fly, and Howard’s two hits being a double and a home run, knocking in a run. Carlos Ruiz had the other Phil hit, a double. The offense opened up to help overcome some defensive boners and several less then stellar bullpen performances to regain first place from the Braves.
The Phils (80-60, 1st) will conclude their series with the Marlins (70-68, 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 (9-10, 3.18), as he is coming off a win against the Brewers on September 3, as he went seven shut out innings, giving up three hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 1-0 win. In his last three starts, his record is 2-0 with a no-decision, as he pitched twenty-two strong innings, giving up only two runs on twelve hits and four walks, while striking out twenty-one. He will be trying to even up his record, while hoping to increase the Phils’ lead in the NL East. The Marlins will counter with Andrew Miller (1-0, 3.60), who is coming off a win against the Braves on September 3, as he pitched five innings, giving up a run on seven hits and three walks, while striking out six, in the Marlins’ 6-1 win. In his last three mound appearances, he is 1-0, as he pitched ten innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on thirteen hits and seven walks, while striking out eight. He will be trying to give the Marlins a chance for a series split. The Phils will be trying to end their latest successful home stand with a win, and staying in first place, before heading off to meet the Mets for three, while hoping that the Pirates can end up sweeping the Braves.