The Phils scored early and often as the bats produced ten runs behind Cole Hamels’ shut out pitching as the Phils defeated the Marlins, 10-6. Their lead in the East remains at half a game as the Braves avoided a sweep at the hands of the Pirates.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run single, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier doubled, and then stole third as the lead man in a double steal, and Chase Utley, who had just walked, and stole second as the back end of the double steal, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, before going on to second base on the late throw to the plate. The Phils made it a 3-0 lead in the second as, with the bases loaded, via a double by Raul Ibanez, a walk to Carlos Ruiz, and then a throwing error by Wes Helm as he tried to throw out Phils’ starter Cole Hamels on a sacrifice bunt attempt, as both Ibanez and Ruiz moved up a base, and with nobody out, Victorino hits into an RBI ground out, 5-3, scoring Ibanez, while both Ruiz and Hamels would move up a base. The Phils added to their lead in the third as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled, making it a 4-0 Phils’ lead, while sending Ibanez, who had just walked, up to second base. The Phils busted the game wide open in the fourth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Howard hits a three-run bomb to left, his twenty-eighth home run of the year, scoring Placido Polanco and Chase Utley, who had both singled, with Polanco stopping at second base on Utley’s single, giving the Phils a 7-0 lead. The Phils then made it 9-0 in the fifth as, with the bases once again loaded, via a single to Hamels, a double to Victorino, his second in the game, with Hamels stopping at third, and a walk to Polanco, and with nobody out, Utley hits a two-run single, scoring Hamels and Victorino, while sending Polanco up to second base. They added to their lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with one man out, Howard hits an RBI single, for his sixth RBI of the game, knocking in Victorino, who had earlier singled, and then went to second when Utley was hit by the pitch, making it a 10-0 Phils’ lead, while sending Utley, who had just been hit by the pitch, to second base. Meanwhile, Cole Hamels had pitched seven scoreless innings, giving up only four hits and a walk to the fish, while striking out five. The Phils’ bullpen then came unglued in the eighth, as Nate Robertson took the mound in relief of Hamels. After striking out the lead-off batter, Mike Rivera, swinging, Robertson then gives up a single to Emilio Bonifacio, who then went to second on a Robertson wild pitch. Logan Morrison then followed with a walk, putting two men on base. The next batter, Gaby Sanchez, then puts the Marlins’ on the scoreboard as he hits a three-run home run, his seventeenth home run of the year, knocking in both Bonifacio and Morrison, making it a 10-3 Phils’ lead. Dan Uggla then walks. Mike Stanton then follows by striking out, swinging, for the inning’s second out. The next batter, Wes Helms, then gets on base with an infield single, as he beats Utley’s throw to first, while Uggla would move up to second base. The Marlins then cut down the Phils’ lead to 10-5 as Cameron Maybin hits a two-run double, scoring both Uggla and Helms, with Helms scoring as Paul Hoover is unable to hold onto Ibanez’s throw to the plate, for an error, as he allows Maybin to reach third on the throw. The Phils then made a pitching change, replacing Robertson with David Herndon, who is then greeted by pinch hitter Scott Cousins, who hits an RBI double, scoring Maybin, to make it a 10-6 Phils’ lead. Herndon then finally ended the inning by getting Rivera, who had started the inning as the Marlins had batted around, to ground out, 4-3. That would be the final score, as Ryan Madson would end the game by striking out Uggla, swinging.
Cole Hamels gets the win as he pitches seven scoreless innings, giving up just four hits and a walk, while striking out five. His record is now 10-10 with a reduced ERA of 3.06. Nate Robertson pitches two-thirds of an inning, as he gives up six runs on four hits and two walks, while he strikes out two. David Herndon pitches two thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Ryan Madson also pitches two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face, one by strike out. Andrew Miller took the lost as he pitches four innings, giving up seven runs on eleven hits and three walks, while he strikes out five. His record is now 1-1 with a 6.16 ERA. Chris Leroux pitches an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jose Ceda pitches an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits. Jay Buente and Burke Badenhop combine for a scoreless one and two-thirds innings, giving up two hits (one hit each), while striking out four (two batters each).
The Phils pounded out eighteen hits in the game, with every regular getting at least one hit. Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard both lead the team with three hits each, with Victorino’s hits being two doubles and a single, as he knocked in a run, while Howard’s hits were two singles and a three-run bomb, knocking in six runs. Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins (before he was taken out of the game because of tightness in his right quad) and Raul Ibanez next follow with two hits each, with Utley’s hits being both singles, knocking in two runs, Rollins hits being a single and a double and Ibanez’s hits being also a single and a double. Placido Polanco, Jayson Werth, Carlos Ruiz, Cole Hamels, Wilson Valdez and Ross Gload had the other six Phils’ hits, with Polanco, Werth, Ruiz, Hamels and Valdez’s hits being singles, with Ruiz knocking in a run, and Gload’s hit being a double. In the game, the Phils had six extra-base hits (2B (5), HR (1)). The bats came out to pound the fish in support of Hamels, giving him plenty of runs support.
The Phils (81-60 1st) have the day off today, before they begin a three-game series with the Mets this weekend (69-71, 4th). The Phils will be hoping that they will be in New York with a full game lead in the East, as the Braves tonight start a four-games series with the Cardinals in Atlanta.
Two monster home runs by Ryan Howard is more than enough runs support for Cliff Lee as he wins his fifth straight start since being traded to the Phils, as the Phillies defeated the depleted Mets, 6-2, winning the series, before they head off to Pittsburgh. They increase their lead in the NL East over the Braves to seven games.
In the first, the Phils took the lead as, with two men on, and with only one man out, Ryan Howard hits a three-run bomb to left field, his thirty-third home run of the season, as he scored Shane Victorino, who had earlier been hit by the pitch, stole second and then went to third on Mets’ catcher Omir Santos’ throwing error, and Chase Utley, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Mets got a run back in their half of the first as Angel Pagan hits a soft pop fly to Utley, who misplayed the ball, dropping it for a fielding error, allowing Pagan to reach first and then head on to second base for a two-base error. Utley then committed a throwing error as he tried to throw out Pagan at second base, but threw the ball past Phils’ shortstop Eric Bruntlett towards the left field foul area, which would eventually allow Pagan to score on the second two-base error of the play, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead. This is the first time in his career that Utley has committed two errors in a ballgame, as well as two errors on one play. Three batters later, with a man on third and with one out, Fernando Tatis hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Gary Sheffield, who had earlier tripled, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead. The Phils added to their lead in the third as, with a man on base, and with one out, Howard hits his second home run of the game, his thirty-fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot to right field, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, making it a 5-2 Phils lead. That would remain the lead until the top of the ninth as Phils’ starter Cliff Lee took control of the game from the second inning onwards, giving up only six hits, and two unearned runs, while he struck out five for seven strong innings. In the ninth, the Phils would add an insurance run as, with a runner on second, and with one out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI double, knocking in Utley, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 6-2 lead. That would end up being the final score as Brad Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Cliff Lee got the win as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up two unearned runs on six hits, while striking out five. His record is now 12-9 (5-0) with an ERA of 2.63 (0.68). Chan Ho Park pitched a 1-2-3 inning as he collected his eighth hold, striking out a batter. Brad Lidge also pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Bobby Parnell took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on four hits and three walks, while he struck out three. His record is now 3-6 with an ERA of 5.08. Ken Takahashi, Elmer Dessens and Billy Wagner combined for three scoreless innings, giving up only a hit (Takahashi) and a walk (Wagner), while striking out four batters (Takahashi (2), Wagner (2)). Pedro Feliciano pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out a batter. Brian Stokes pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up only a walk, as he struck out a batter.
The Phils had only seven hits, with Ryan Howard and Ryan Ibanez leading the way with two hits apiece, with both of Howard’s hits being home runs, knocking in five of the Phils’ runs, while one of Ibanez’s hits was a double, knocking in the Phils’ other run. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, and Eric Bruntlett had the other three Phils’ hits, with Utley’s hit being a double. Once again, the Phils’ had little offense, but got the big hit when they needed it, as they go on to Pittsburgh, after a successful start of their road trip in New York.
The Phillies (72-50, 1st National League East) continue their road trip with a three games series with the Pirates (51-71, 6th National League Central). The game will be played at PNC Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (8-6, 3.86), who is coming off a win against the D-backs on August 20, where he went eight innings, giving up three runs on ten hits, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 12-3 win. He will be trying to gain his ninth win, while starting the series against the lowly Bucos on a good note. The Pirates will counter with Ross Ohlendorf (11-8, 4.15), who is coming off a win against the Brewers on August 18, as he pitched seven innings, giving up a run on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Pirates’ 5-2 win. He will be going for his twelfth win, while hoping to slow down the Phils. The Phils will be trying to take advantage of one of the worst teams in the NL, while trying to put even further distance between them and the NL East rivals.