The Phils took the lead in the first as, with one man on, and with one man out, Hunter Pence hits an RBI double, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Jimmy Rollins’ ground out, 3-unassisted, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils added to their lead in the fourth as, with one man out, Pence hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The Pirates got a run back in the fifth as Pedro Alvarez hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the season, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils increased their lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with two men out, Juan Pierre hits a two-run single, knocking in Ty Wigginton, who had earlier walked, then went to second base on Freddy Galvis’ sacrifice bunt, before going on to third as second baseman Neil Walker committed a missed catch error on pitcher Jared Hughes’ throw, and Galvis, who was safe at first on Walker’s error, before going on to second base on the error, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead. The Pirates got a run back in their half of the seventh as, with a runner on first, as Alvarez reaches first base on a strikeout, as Wigginton committed a fielding error on Brian Schneider’s throw for the out attempt, and with two men out, Casey McGehee hits an RBI double, scoring Alvarez, making it a 4-2 Phils’ lead. The Pirates then made it a 4-3 Phils’ lead as Alex Presley hits an RBI single, knocking in McGehee. The Pirates then tied the game up at four-all in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, pinch hitter Matt Hague hits an RBI single, his first major league hit, scoring Andrew McCutchen, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, while sending pinch hitter Yamaico Navarro, who had earlier walked, on to second base. The Pirates then won the game in the bottom of the ninth as, with a man on third, and with two men out, McCutchen hits an RBI single, scoring pinch runner Josh Hamilton, who was pinch running for McGehee, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Presley sacrifice bunt, 2-4, giving the Pirates a 5-4 walk-off win.
Vance Worley received a no-decision as he went six strong innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. Michael Stutes collected his first hold of the season as he pitched an inning, giving up two unearned runs on two hits, while striking out two. Kyle Kendrick picked up his first hold of the year as he went a third of an inning, giving up a run on a hit. Antonio Bastardo received his first blown save of the season as he went two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. David Herndon (0-1, 13.50) took the lost as he went two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while he struck out a batter. James McDonald also received a no-decision as he went six innings, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks, while he struck out three. Jared Hughes pitched an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Evan Meek pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Joel Hanrahan (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two.
The Phils had just five hits in the ballgame, with Juan Pierre (Singles, 2 RBI) and Hunter Pence (Double, Home Run, 2 RBIs) both leading the ball club with two hits each. Shane Victorino (Single) had the other Phil hit, a single. The Phils also had two stolen bases as Pierre and Victorino were involved in a double steal. The offense is performing some early small ball. Sadly it is not translating into runs, as they are presently leaving too many men in scoring position.
The Phils (1-2, 3rd) will start their first home stand of the season with a three-game series with the Marlins (1-3, 4th). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and it will start at 1:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound for their home opener Cole Hamels (0-0, -.–) who ended 2011 with a 14-9 record with an ERA of 2.79 and a WHIP of 0.99. He pitched in 32 games, all but one of them as a starter, throwing a total of 216 innings, in which he struck out 184 batters, while walking only 44. Cole will be trying to continue where he left off last year, while trying to end the Phils present losing streak. The Marlins will counter with Anibal Sanchez (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a 2011 season with a record of 8-9, with a 3.67 ERA and a WHIP of 1.28. Sanchez started in 32 games, for a total of 196.1 innings, striking out 202 batters, while walking just 64. He will be trying to stop the Marlins early slide. The Phils will be trying to end their first losing slide, after spoiling two straight quality starts with so-so offense.
Earlier today, the Phils have announced that Dom Brown have had surgery performed on his right hand to remove the hamate bone. The operation was successful. Stitches should be removed in ten days, and a removable case then placed on his right hand. He should be out for four to six weeks.
With this, Ben Francisco should get the right field starter job.
The Phils have also announced, during the weekend, who their opening day starter against the Houston Astros (on April 1) at Citizens Bank Park, will be. And it comes as no surprise that it will be their ace and 2011 Cy Young Award winner, Roy Halladay.
The Phils win their first home opener since 2005 as they increase their winning streak to four games by coming from behind to defeat the Nationals, 7-5.
The Nationals took the lead in the second as, with nobody out, Josh Willingham hits a lead-off home run, his second home run of the year, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead. The Nats would then extend their lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ivan Rodriguez hits an RBI single, scoring Cristian Guzman, who had earlier singled and had moved up to second when Adam Dunn was hit by the pitch, making it 2-0 Nats, while sending Dunn, who had been hit by a pitch, up to second base. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, thanks to a walk to Adam Kennedy, moving Rodriguez over to second base, and still with two men out, Nats’ starter Jason Marquis helped his own cause by hitting a two-run double, knocking in both Dunn and Rodriguez, giving the Nats a 4-0 lead, while sending Kennedy over to third. The Phils would start their comeback in their half of the fourth as, with two men on, and with one out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, scoring Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled and had moved up to second on a Chase Utley walk, cutting the Nats’ lead down to 4-1, while Utley, who had just walked, moved up to third. Jayson Werth then followed by hitting into an RBI force out, 5-4, wiping out Howard at second base, while Utley scored, making it a 4-2 Nats’ lead. The Phils would strike again in the fifth as, with two men on base, and with one men out, Juan Castro, who was starting the game in place of the injured Jimmy Rollins, hits an RBI double, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second base on a force attempt throwing error on Cole Hamels’ bunt attempt, making it 4-3 Nats, while sending Hamels, who had reached first base on Rodriguez’s throwing error, over to third. Polanco then gives the Phils the lead with a two-run single, scoring both Hamels and Castro, making it 5-4 Phils. Utley then makes it a 7-5 Phils’ lead with a two-run shot off the foul pole, his second home run of the season. That would end up being the final score as the bullpen would come in to pitch three and a third-innings of shut out ball, with Ryan Madson recording his second save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Cole Hamels gets the win as he has another so-so performance as he pitches five and two-third innings, giving up four runs on six hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out six. His record is now 2-0 with a high ERA of 5.06. Chad Durbin records his third hold as he pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Jose Contreras records his first hold of the year as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two batters. Danys Baez records his second hold of the season as he pitches a scoreless inning, walking a batter. Ryan Madson records his second save of the season as he pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter. Jason Marquis took the lost as he pitches only four and a third innings, giving up seven runs, only six of which were earned, on six hits and two walks, while striking out one. His record is now 0-2 with an ERA of 12.96. Jesse English, Tyler Walker, Sean Burnett and Miguel Batista would combine for three and two-thirds shut out innings, giving up just two hits (English (1), Burnett (1)) and one walk (Batista), while striking out two Phils (English (1), Batista (1)).
The Phils had only eight hits in the game, with Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard both leading the team with two hits each, with Polanco’s two hits being singles, as he knocked in two runs, while Howard’s hits were a single and a double, knocking in a run. Juan Castro, who was in the game because Jimmy Rollins had hurt himself before the start of the game, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz all followed with a hit each, with Castro’s hit being a double, knocking in a run, while Utley’s hit was a two-run home run off of the foul pole. Werth knocked in the Phils’ other run on a force out, before getting a single, after which he took himself out of the game because of a sore left hip.
The Phils (6-1, 1st) will continue their three games series with the Nats (3-4, 4th) with a night game Wednesday night. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (0-0, 11.25), who is coming off a bad outing a week ago against these same Nats, as he received a no-decision on April 8, going only four innings, giving up five runs on six hits, while striking out two, in the Phils’ 6-5 lost. He will be trying to redeem himself tomorrow night. The Nats’ will counter with Craig Stammen (0-0, 7.20), who also received a no-decision on April 8, as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs on nine hits, while striking out one, in the Nats’ 6-5 win. He will be trying for his first win of the season. The Phils hope to make it five wins in a row while continuing their hot hitting, although now with Rollins and Werth being injured.