A home run by Raul Ibanez in the bottom of the tenth guarantee the Phils leading the NL East as the All-Star break approach, as the Phils defeat the Braves in walk-off fashion, in extra-innings, 3-2.
The Braves took the lead in the second as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, Freddie Freeman hits an RBI single, scoring Chipper Jones, who had earlier singled, then went to second base on a Carlos Ruiz passed ball, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the second as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Wilson Valdez hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, then go to second on a Brandon Beachy balk, before going to third on Ruiz’s single. The Braves retook the lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Dan Uggla hits an RBI infield single to Vladez, allowing Brian McCann, who had earlier singled, then reached third on Jones’ double, to score, as Valdez is not able to throw home, while Uggla would beat his throw to first, giving the Braves a 2-1 lead. The Phils would retie it at two-all in their half of the fourth as, with one man out, Ruiz would hit a solo home run, his fourth home run of the year. They would then try to take the lead as the next two batters, Dom Brown and Valdez, would both get on base with singles, with Brown stopping at third, before Valdez would move up to second base on Roy Halladay’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, for the inning’s second out. But Beachy would get out of the inning by getting Jimmy Rollins to fly out to right. The Braves then threaten to take back the lead in the seventh as, with two men out, Nate McLouth hits a triple on a ball that left fielder Ibanez was unable to catch and then went all the way to the fence. But, Halladay would end the threat by getting pinch hitter Eric Hinske to fly out to left. The game then became a battle between the bullpens, with neither offense being able to do much of anything, as the game goes into extra-innings. In the top of the tenth, Juan Pierre would come into the game in relief, and proceed to strike out, swinging, on nine pitches, Jason Heyward, McLouth and pinch hitter Wilkin Ramirez. Then, in the bottom of the tenth, with one man out, Ibanez would hit a walk-off solo home run, his eleventh home run of the season, giving Pierre his first career win, as the Phils win, 3-2.
Roy Halladay would receive a no-decision as he pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while striking out seven. Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo would combine for two 1-2-3 innings, striking out two batters (one batter each) between them. Juan Pierre (1-0, 0.00) gets the win as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the side on nine pitches, the 46th pitcher to do so in Major League History. Brandon Beachy would also receive a no-decision as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on eight hits, while striking out six. Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters, Scott Linebrink and George Sherrill would combine for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Venters (1), Linebrink (1)) and two walks (Venters (1), Linebrink (1)), while striking out tw0 (O’Flaherty (1), Venters (1)), between them. Scott Proctor (1-3, 4.24) took the lost as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit, Raul Ibanez’s walk-off home run.
The Phils had eleven hits in the ballgame, with Jimmy Rollins (Singles), Raul Ibanez (Single, Home Run, RBI), Carlos Ruiz (Single, Home Run, RBI) and Dom Brown (Singles), all leading the team with two hits each. Chase Utley (Single), Ryan Howard (Single) and Wilson Valdez (Single, RBI), had the other three Phils’ hits.
The Phils (56-33, 1st) will continue their series with the Braves (53-37, 2nd) with an afternoon game later today. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and it will be nationally televised on Fox Sports, starting at 4:10 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (9-6, 2.92), who is coming off a lost to the Blue Jays on July 3, as he pitched 7 and one-third innings, giving up seven runs on ten hits, while he struck out nine, in the Phils’ 7-4 lost. He will be going for his tenth win, while trying to recover from his last start. The Braves will counter with Tommy Hanson (10-4, 2.52), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on July 4, as he pitched seven innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Braves’ 4-1 win. He will be going out to even the series. The Phils will be trying for the series win, putting a bit more distance between them and the Braves before the All-Star break.