A five-run first inning and a strong performance by J.A. Happ was more than enough for the Phils to complete the three game sweep of the Pirates, 5-2. They end the home stand with a 9-1 record, one of the best home stands in the team’s long history.
The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Jimmy Rollins, a single by Shane Victorino, moving Rollins up to scond base, and a single by Chase Utley, moving both Rollins and Victorino up a base, with nobody out, as Ryan Howard hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Rollins, while moving up a base both Victorino and Utley. Two batters later, with the bases reloaded, thanks to a walk to Jayson Werth, and now two men out, Pedro Feliz broke the game open early, as he hits a grand slam home run, his sixth home run of the year, scoring Victorino, Utley and Werth before him, giving the Phils a 5-0 lead. That would turn out to be all the runs that the Phils would need, as Pirates’ pitching would keep them off the scoreboard for the next seven innings, while J.A. Happ would dominate the Bucos during his seven innings of work, helped by some double plays. The Pirates would get a run across in the sixth as, with one man on, and one out, Freddy Sanchez hits an RBI double, scoring Andrew McCutchen, making it 5-1 Phils. After Madson pitched an easy eighth inning, J.C. Romero was given the ball in the ninth. Garrett Jones greeted him with a lead-off home run, his fifth home run of the season, making it a 5-2 Phils’ lead. But that would be the best that the Pirates would be able to do, as Romero would strike out the next two batters, and then get the last batter to hit into a 1-3 ground out to end the game.
J.A. Happ got the victory as he pitched seven very strong innings, giving up only one run on four hits and two walks, as he struck out four. His record is now 6-0 with an ERA of 2.90. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just two hits. J.C. Romero pitched the ninth, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out two. Virgil Vasquez took the lost as he lasted only one and a third innings, giving up five runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out only one. His record is now 1-3 with a 6.52 ERA. Jeff Karstens, Evan Meek, Donald Veal and Joel Hanrahan would combine for six and two-thirds shut out innings, giving up just two hits, (Meek (1), Veal (1)) and a walk (Kerstens), while striking out six batters (Kerstens (2), Meek (1), Veal (1)).
The Phils had only six hits in the game, with Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz leading the way with two hits a piece, with one of Pedro’s hits being a grand slam home run. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino had the other two Phils’ hit. Besides Feliz’s four RBIs, Ryan Howard knocked in the Phils’ other run via a sac fly. The Phils now go into the All-Star break ten games over .500 (48-38), with the third best record in the National League and four games ahead of the second place Marlins in the NL East.
Trailing the Pirates 7-3 in the bottom of the ninth, a pair of home runs by pinch hitter Matt Stairs and Ryan Howard and a walk-off single by Paul Bako gave the Phils a dramatic five-run come from behind win. The win, with a Marlins’ lost to the Diamondbacks, leads to a Phils’ four game lead in the NL East.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first as, with two men out, Garrett Jones hits a solo home run, his fourth home run of the season. Two batters later, with a man on base, and still two men out, Delwyn Young hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the year, knocking in Ryan Doumit, who had earlier doubled, giving the Pirates a 3-0 lead. In the second, the Pirates would increase their lead to 5-0 as, with a runner on base, and two men out, Andrew McCutchen hits a two-run home run of his own, his second home run of the year, knocking in Andy LaRoche, who had earlier doubled. The Phils would start cutting the Bucos lead in the sixth as, two men on, and one man out, Raul Ibanez, who was in his first game back since coming off the disabled list, hits an RBI double, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on Ryan Howard’s single, making it a 5-1 Pirates’ lead, while sending Howard, who had just singled, over to third. Two batters later, after Jayson Werth had walked to load the bases, Greg Dobbs hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Howard, cutting the Pirates’ lead down to 5-2, while Ibanez would move up to third. Paul Bako then made it a 5-3 Pirates’ lead as he hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, while sending Werth up to second base. The Pirates would get two of the runs back in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, and one man out, Jones received an RBI walk, forcing in Jack Wilson, who had earlier singled, had gone to second on pinch hitter Jeff Salazar’s walk, and then went to third on McCutchen’s force out, as Salazar is wiped out at second, 5-4, for the inning’s first out, while McCutchen is safe at first, making it a 6-3 Pirates’ lead, while leaving the bases loaded as Freddy Sanchez, who was batting when McCutchen stole second base, had walked to load the bases, moved up to second, while McCutchen went on to third. Doumit then made it a 7-3 Pirates’ lead as he hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, for the inning’s second out, scoring McCutchen, while sending Sanchez to third, and Jones up to second base. The Phils then came back in the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs started things off with a lead-off home run, his fourth home run of the season, making it a 7-4 Pirates’ lead. Jimmy Rollins then walked. After Shane Victorino flied out for the inning’s first out, Rollins stole second base with Utley batting. Utley then singled, putting runners on the corner as Rollins went to third. Howard then tied the game at seven-all as he hits a three-run home run, his twenty-second home run of the season, knocking in both Rollins and Utley. Ibanez then hit a double, followed by an intentional walk to Werth, putting two men on base. Pedro Feliz then loaded the bases with an infield single, moving Ibanez to third and Werth up to second. Bako then won the game with an RBI single, knocking in Ibanez with the winning run, as the Phils won the games, 8-7.
Cole Hamels received a no-decision as he pitched six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, while striking out six. Chad Durbin pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and two walks. Scott Eyre pitched one and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and a walk. Tyler Walker received the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit. His record is now 1-0 with an ERA of 1.64. Ross Ohlendorf also received a no-decision as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks, while striking out five. Jesse Chavez recorded his fifth hold as he pitched a third of an inning, althought giving up a hit. John Grabow pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and one walk, while striking out three. Matt Capps took the lost as he pitched only a third of an inning, giving up five runs on six hits and two walks.
The Phillies had thirteen hits in the game, with Ryan Howard leading the team with three hits, with one of the hits being a three-run home run, as he raised his batting average to .258. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, a returning Raul Ibanez and Paul Bako all followed with two hits apiece. Pedro Feliz and pinch hitter Matt Stairs had the other two hits, with Stairs’ hit being a pinch hit home run, starting the five-run ninth inning. Besides Howard’s three RBIs and Stairs’ one, Ibanez knocked in a run, Greg Dobbs brought home a run with a sac fly, while Bako knocked in two, including the game winner. The Phils, with the win, have won their third straight series at home, while winning eight of the nine games so far played in the ten-games home stand.
The Phillies (47-38, 1st National League East) will play their final game before the All-Star break with the Pirates (38-49, 5th National League Central). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 1:35 pm Eastern time. J.A. Happ (5-0, 3.04), will start the game for the Phils as he comes off a no-decision against the Reds on July 7, as he went seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. He will once again be going for his sixth win of the season. The Pirates will counter with Virgil Vasquez (1-2, 4.50), who is coming off a lost against the Astros on July 6, as he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out only two, in the Pirates’ 4-1 lost. He will be trying to help the Pirates avoid a series sweep. The Phils will be trying for their ninth win in the ten-games home stand, while trying to increase their lead even further in the NL East.