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April 14 2007

The Phillies came back from being down 4-1 early to beat the Houston Astros this afternoon, winning 8-5 to improve to 3-8 on the season.

Seven more walks for the Phillies, with a couple of big hits sprinkled in this time.  Jimmy Rollins is off to an unbelievable start.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits.  Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run.  He struck out three and didn't walk a batter.  He gets his first win in the worst of his three starts on the season. 

After a 1-2-3 first, Hamels got Carlos Lee to lead off the second.  Morgan Ensberg was next and he singled to left and moved to second on a wild pitch.  Jason Lane followed and hit a fly ball into center that Rowand caught and doubled Ensberg off of second. 

Humberto Quintero doubled with one out in the third.  Hamels struck out Woody Williams for the second out of the inning.  A single from Craig Biggio scored Quintero and tied the game at 1-1, with Biggio going to second on the throw home.  Chris Burke was next and he reached on a throwing error by Utley, but when Biggio tried to score from second he was nailed at the plate to retire the side.

Lance Berkman singled to start the fourth, but Lee followed with a fly out to center.  A single from Ensberg sent Berkman to third before a three-run shot off the bat of Jason Lane made the score 4-1 Astros.  Hamels got the next two to end the inning.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 fifth.  He started the sixth up 5-4 and hit Berkman to lead off the inning.  Lee followed with a ground ball to third, and Nunez got Lee at first as Berkman moved to second.  Ensberg singled on a ball misplayed by Burrell in left. moving Berkman to third with one down.  Lane was next and he hit a ground ball to second, scoring Berkman as Ensberg moved to second with two down.  Adam Everett reached on an infield single that moved Ensberg to third, but Hamels struck out Quintero to end the inning.

The Phillies pinch-hit for Hamels in the bottom of the sixth and pulled ahead 7-5, leaving the pen to try to protect a two-run lead for three innings.  Francisco Rosario started the seventh, making his debut with the Phillies.  He got the first two men he faced before hitting Chris Burke with a pitch.  Burke stole second, but Rosario impressively struck out Berkman after getting behind him 2-0 to end the inning.

Alfonseca pitched the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Lee.  Lee was erased on a double-play ball from Ensberg and Lane grounded to third to end the inning.  After six appearances with the Phils Alfonseca's ERA is 1.42.

Tom Gordon pitched the ninth with an 8-5 lead and got the job done without inspiring a lot of confidence.  After walking Everett to start the inning he fell behind pinch-hitter Mark Loretta 2-0 before getting Loretta to fly to center.  He walked Orlando Palmeiro to bring Biggio to the plate at the tying run, but Biggio grounded into a double-play that ended the game. 

The pen went three scoreless innings, allowing a hit and two walks. 

The Phillies lineup against righty Woody Williams went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Rowand (7) Nunez (8) Ruiz.  Helms on the bench with Nunez at third.  The hot-hitting Rowand bats sixth with Nunez ahead of Ruiz.  How bout Dobbs at third if it's not Helms?  Please? 

After Rollins and Victorino went down to start the first, a solo homer from Utley put the Phils up 1-0.  Howard followed with a walk but Burrell struck out to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

In the third, Hamels struck out for the first out but Rollins followed with a single and moved to second on a walk by Victorino.  Utley grounded to second, moving both runners up a base.  The Astros intentionally walked Howard to load the bases, but Burrell flew out to right to end the inning with the score tied at 1-1.

Down 4-1 in the fourth, Rowand led off with a single and Nunez followed and popped out for the first out of the inning.  Ruiz was next and he doubled, scoring Rowand to make the score 4-2.  Ruiz went to third on the throw home.  Hamels grounded to second for the second out, with Ruiz holding third.  Rollins was next and his two-run homer tied the game at 4-4.  Victorino struck out to end the inning.

With two outs in the fifth Burrell singled and moved to second when Rowand reached on an error by Ensberg.  Nunez was next and he blooped a single into left, scoring Burrell to put the Phils up 5-4.  Ruiz lined to short to end the inning.

With the score tied at 5-5 in the sixth, righty Jayson Werth pinch-hit for Cole Hamels against righty Woody Williams and singled.  Rollins and Victorino went down before Utley doubled over the head of Burke in center, scoring Werth and putting the Phils up 6-5.  The Astros intentionally walked Howard, who ended the day hitting .237 for the year with one homer, again, putting runners on first and second for Burrell.  Burrell singled on a broken-bat line drive into left, scoring Utley to extend the lead to 7-5.  Michael Bourn pinch ran for Burrell, which is just nuts in the sixth inning.  On the bases, Bourn represented the run that would have put the Phillies up 9-5.  An inning later he would strike out on three pitches with the bases loaded.  Rowand walked to load the bases, but Nunez grounded to third to end the inning.

Ruiz led off the seventh with a single and, with pinch-hitter Dobbs at the plate, stole second.  Dobbs flew out to center for the first out.  Rollins was next and his ground out sent Ruiz to third with two down.  An infield single from Victorino scored Ruiz, putting the Phils up 8-5.  Utley followed with another double, sending Victorino to third.  The Astros intentionally walked Howard for the third time in the game, bringing up Bourn, of course, who struck out to end the inning.

Rowand led off the eighth with a single, but Nunez followed with a ground ball to short Houston forced Rowand at second with Nunez safe at first.  Nunez moved to second on a wild pitch before Ruiz walked, putting runners at first and second with one down.  Pinch-hitter Helms and Rollins both popped to short to end the inning.

Rollins was 2-for-6 with a homer and a single.  The home run was his sixth of the year, he's on pace to hit 88.  He's slugging .766 and on-basing .411.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.  He's slugging .324.

Utley was 3-for-5 with a homer, his second of the year, and two doubles. 

Howard was 0-for-1 and walked four times, three of which were intentional.  237/463/368.  Three extra-base hits in 38 at-bats. 

Burrell was 2-for-4 with two singles and an RBI.  He left four men on base.  Michael Bourn was 0-for-1 and left three men on base.  Bourn is 2-for-14 in his career with two infield hits.  He's not the guy you want up with the bases loaded at the end of the game when your bullpen can't get anybody out.

Rowand was 2-for-4 with a walk.  342/458/368.  Rollins, Howard, Burrell and Rowand are all on-basing at least .411. 

Nunez was 1-for-5 with a single and an RBI and left five men on base.  He's hitting .182.

Ruiz was 2-for-4 with a double, a steal and a walk.  He's hitting .310.

Tomorrow's game seems sure to be rained out.  If it isn't, Freddy Garcia will make his Phillies debut against lefty Wandy Rodriguez (0-1, 3.86).  Rodriguez appeared in two games against the Phillies last season, getting one start.  In 5 2/3 innings he threw to a 9.53 ERA, allowing nine hits including three homers.

To make room on the 25-man roster for Garcia, Clay Condrey was designated for assignment.

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