Roy Halladay, as he pitches his 50th complete game, wins his 150th career game as he outduels the Astros’ Ray Oswalt, as the Phils defeat the Astros’ 2-1. The Phils, now 5-1, are off to their best start since 1993, when they started that pennant season with an 8-1 start.
The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, on the second pitch of the game, Jimmy Rollins hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season. The Phils would make it 2-0 in the second as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier doubled and had gone to third on Shane Victorino’s single, while Victorino, who had earlier singled, moved up to second base. The game then became a pitchers’ duel between the Phils’ Roy Halladay and the Astros’ Roy Oswalt, with Oswalt giving up no more runs before leaving the game in the sixth, having given up two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out eight Phils, while Halladay, through five, gave up only three hits while striking out five Astros. The Astros then threathen in the sixth as they loaded up the bases on singles to pinch hitter Chris Johnson and Michael Bourn, with Johnson moving up to second base, and an error to third base by Halladay on a bunt attempt by Jeff Keppinger, allowing Johnson to reach third, while Bourn moved up to second on the throw to third, with nobody out. But the next batter, Cory Sullivan then hits into a 6-3 double play, forcing out Keppinger at second base, while Johnson scored, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead, while Bourn moved up to third, where he would stay as the next batter, Carlos Lee, pops up to Rollins for the final out of the inning. The Astros then threathen again in the seventh, as they put runners on second and third, with one man out, via singles to Geoff Blum and Pedro Feliz, with Blum moving up to second base on Feliz’s hit, and then with both man moving up a base on Kazuo Matsui’s sacrifice bunt, 2-4, for the inning’s first out. But Halladay then turned the Astros back by getting J.R. Towles to bounce back to the pitcher, 1-3, for the inning’s second out, and then striking out pinch hitter Jason Michaels, swinging. That would be the last threat as Halladay gets Feliz to end the game in the bottom of the ninth with a pop up to Chase Utley for the final out.
Roy Halladay picks up the win as he pitches a complete game, giving up an unearned run on seven hits, as he strikes out eight. His record is now 2-0 with a reduced ERA of 0.56. Roy Oswalt took the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, while he strikes out eight. His record is now 0-2 with an ERA of 3.75. Jeff Fulchino, Tim Byrdak and Brandon Lyon combine for three shut out innings, giving up only one hit (Fulchino), while striking out two Phils (Fulchino and Byrdak, one each).
The Phils’ offense had only six hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with two hits, a solo home run and a single, knocking in a run. Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino and Roy Halladay had the other foru Phils’ hits, with Utley and Ibanez’s hits being doubles. Carlos Ruiz knocked in the other Phils’ run with an RBI ground out.
The Phils (5-1, 1st East) start a six games home stand with a three games series against the Nationals (3-3, 4th East). The first game of the three-games set, being played at Citizens Bank Park, is already in progress. The Phils send to the mound Cole Hamels (1-0, 3.60), who is coming off a win against these same Nats on April 7, as he pitched five innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 8-4 win. He hopes to improve on that outing, giving the Phils a chance to win their home opener. He will be opposed by Jason Marquis (0-1, 13.50), who is coming off a lost to the Phils, also on April 7, as he lasted only four innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out only two, in the Nats’ 8-4 lost. He hopes to do better against this same Phils squad. The Phils plan to win their home opener, and to increase their winning streak to four games.
Pat Burrell’s pitch hit home run help lead the Phillies to victory last night over the Houston Astros, 7-5. The Astros would score first in the bottom of the first on a Lance Berkman RBI double off of Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick, scoring Miguel Tejada, who has reached base earlier on a force out, making it 1-0 Astros. The Phils would tie the game in the second on a RBI single by Carlos Ruiz, knocking in Ryan Howard who has earlier singled. The Astros would regain the lead on a sacrifice fly by Brad Ausmus, scoring Hunter Pence, who has earlier walked. The Phils would then take the lead in the top of the third, scoring three runs off of usually more effective Astros’ starter Roy Oswalt. The first Phillies run would come in on a RBI double by Howard, knocking in Shane Victorino, who has earlier walk, tying the game at two runs apiece. Pedro Feliz then singles in Chase Utley, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. Howard would then score on Geoff Jenkins’ sacrifice fly, making the score 4-2 Phils. The Phils would then increase their lead in the fifth on a Ryan Howard solo home run, his thirteenth of the season, and his third in two days, making it 5-2 Phils. But, then, in the sixth, Kendrick, who has been able to keep the Astros at bay for the last three innings, finally runs out of gas. After hitting Carlos Lee, and then giving up a single to Pence, he gives up a double to Ty Wigginton. The double would score both Lee and Pence, making it a 5-4 Phillies lead. Charlie Manuel would then come to the mound and replace Kendrick with Ryan Madson, with a runner on second and nobody out. After a sacrifice bunt by Ausmus puts Wigginton on third, Madson is replaced by J.C. Romero, to try and save the game for Kendrick. Unfortunately, Romero is not able to get the job done, as he gives up a single to pinch hitter Geoff Blum, scoring Ausmus, thus giving a no-decision to Kendrick, before he finally gets out of the inning. The Astros would replace Oswalt at the start of the seventh inning, thus leaving the game in the hands of both teams’ bullpens. With neither side scoring in the seventh, Pat Burrell would come up as a pinch hitter to start the eighth inning against Wesley Wright, who was starting his second inning of relief. On a 3-2 pitch, Burrell hits the ball out of the ballpark for a pinch hit home run, his eleventh home run of the season, giving the Phils a 6-5 lead. The Astros quickly replace Wright with Fernando Nieve. With two men on and two out, Nieve would be replaced by Tim Byrdak. Byrdak would then give up a RBI single to Utley, which scores Eric Bruntlett, who was pinch running for Jayson Werth, who has earlier reached base on a force out, increasing the Phils lead to 7-5. After Tom Gordon pitches a 1-2-3 eighth, the Phils would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to save the game in the ninth. After getting a strike out and then a ground out, Lidge would give up a single to Tejada, bringing to the plate Berkman. With one pitch, Lidge would get Berkman to fly out, thus getting his twelfth save in as many chances, as he preserves the victory.
Kyle Kendrick would get a no-decision as he pitches five innings plus three batters, giving up five earned runs on eight hits. Ryan Madson would pitch one third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit, earning a blown save. Chad Durbin would get the win for the Philles, as he pitches an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 1-1, with a 2.08 ERA. Tom Gordon would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hit. Brad Lidge would get his twelfth save of the year, as he gives up no run on one hit in one inning of work against his former club. Tom Oswalt would also get a no-decision while not pitching very effectively, as he goes six innings, giving up five earned runs on eleven hits. Wesley Wright would get the lost for Houston, as he goes an inning and one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit, Pat Burrell’s pitch hit home run. Fernando Nieve would pitch a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Tim Byrdak would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Oscar Villarreal would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit.
The Phillies (27-22) will continue their four game visit with the Astros (27-22, 3rd National League Central) with a night game at Minute Maid Park. The game will begin at 8:05 pm (7:05 pm Central). The Phils’ starter will be Adam Eaton (0-2, 5.59), who is coming off his second lost of the year at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays on May 17. In that game, he gave up four earned runs on eight hits, as he would go only five innings, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. As Eaton continues to look for his first win, he hopes to do better then he did in his previous start against the Astros, back on April 15 at Citizens Bank Park, where he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hit as he took a no-decision in the Phils’ 4-3 come from behind win. Meanwhile, Phillies fans are wondering how much longer Eaton will remain in the starting rotation. The Astros will counter with Brandon Backe (3-5, 4.58), who is coming off a win against the Texas Rangers on May 18, where he pitched six and one third innings, giving up only three earned runs on six hits, in the Astros’ 5-4 win. He hopes to improve his record, while getting even with the Phils for his earlier lost to them on April 17, where he gave up five earned runs on ten hits, while pitching only three innings, in the Astros’ 10-2 lost.
The Phils hope that their just revised offense will continue to score runs, as they continue to trail the Marlins by a game and a half, as the fish have just finished their three games sweep of the Diamondbacks. The Phillies are still in a technical tie for second place with the Braves, now trailing them by .002 percentage points as they have just finished their own four games sweep of the Mets, who are now trailing both the Braves and Phils by three games. As the Phillies continue their road trip to Houston, the Marlins will start a three games series at home against the Giants, while the Braves will stay home to face the Diamondbacks for four games and the Mets will go on to Denver to face the Rockies for three. The Phils hope to both finish their present road trip on a winning note and to stay pace with both the presently streaking Marlins and Braves.