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April 24 2007

Three in a row for the Phils.  Twenty runs in their last two games.  Four out of five.  Would have been five out of five if they could have shut the door in Cincy on Friday night after they got a one-hit shutout through eight innings.

They are hot.  Hitting, pitching and fielding.  There's not a lot else for them to do. 

The Phillies beat the Houston Astros last night, winning 11-4 to improve to 7-11.  They have passed the Nats into fourth place in the NL East, five games behind the division-leading Mets.

Adam Eaton got his fourth start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks.  Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs.  He struck out seven and his ERA dropped to 6.46.

Craig Biggio hit the first pitch of the game out left-center to put Houston up 1-0.  Eaton got the next two before Carlos Lee hit a ground rule double to center.  Luke Scott struck out to end the inning.

Mike Lamb led off the second with a single but Chris Burke followed and struck out.  An infield single to short from Brad Ausmus moved Lamb to second.  Chris Sampson bunted, but Eaton got the lead runner at third for the second out.  Biggio walked to load the bases with two outs for Mark Loretta.  Loretta hit a ball into right that scored two runs but the Phillies nailed Biggio at the plate going Victorino to Utley to Barajas to end the frame with Houston up 3-2.

Lance Berkman led off the third with a home run that tied the game at 4-4.  Eaton set the next three down in order.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Berkman walked with two outs in the fifth, but Lee flew out to right to end the inning.

Eaton struck out Scott to start the sixth, but Mike Lamb was next and he reached on a check swing bloop into left field.   Burke hit a double-play ball to Utley at second.  Utley bobbled, but recovered in time to get Burke at first as Lamb moved to second.  Eaton struck out Ausmus to end the inning.

Eaton started the seventh and walked Ensberg.  Geary entered the game for the Phils and struck out Biggo for the first out and then got Loretta to hit into a double-play.

Geary's ERA is at 2.70.  He's allowed one hit and no runs over his last 3 1/3 innings.

Madson started the eighth for the Phils and got the first two men before Scott singled.  Madson got Lamb on a ground ball to short to end the frame.

Rosario pitched the bottom of the ninth with the Phils up 11-4.  Manuel spoke more yesterday about Myers pitching on Sunday with a seven-run lead.  He said that Myers started warming up when the game was still a save situation.  After the Phillies scored four runs in the top of the ninth, Myers was already unavailable for last night's game so they decided to pitch him anyway.  After the second batter in the top of the ninth the Phils were up 7-2 with nobody out.  Anyway, last night, Rosario got the first two men before pinch-hitter Orlando Palmeiro singled on a ball that should have been handled by Helms.  Biggio grounded to third to end the game.

Three more scoreless innings for the pen.  They have been charged with one run over their last seven innings.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Sampson went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Helms (7) Rowand (8) Barajas.  Nothing new there.  Barajas catches Eaton. 

Jimmy Rollins led off the first with a home run to right that tied the game at 1-1.  Victorino followed with a single and moved to second when Utley hit a chopper to first for the first out of the inning.  Howard singled to right and Smith held Victorino at third.  Burrell laced a singled into left that put the Phils up 2-1 as Howard went to second.  Helms struck out for the second out of the inning and Rowand flew out to right for the third out.

Eaton singled with one out in the second and came around to score on a triple by Rollins, tying the game at 3-3.  Rollins came home on a ground out to second from Victorino.  4-3 Phils.  Utley flew to left to end the inning.

Helms singled with two outs in the third.  Rowand was next and he crushed a ball to center.  It bounced off the wall in the air, but bounced right back to the center fielder Burke who had played it well.  Helms had to hold at third.  Barajas walked to load the bases, but Eaton struck out to end the inning.

Rollins singled to start the fourth and Victorino followed with another single, a little flare just over the glove of the shortstop and into left-center, that moved Rollins to third.  Utley hit a double-play ball to second, but Biggio was a little slow with the toss to second and Utley was safe at first.  Rollins scored from third and the Phils took a 5-4 lead.  Howard struck out for the second out, but Burrell singled with Utley going to third.  Wes Helms followed with another single, scoring Utley to make it 6-4 as Burrell went to second.  Rowand singled into left and Burrell raced home to score as the Astros cut Lee's throw and nailed Helms at third to end the inning.  Burrell scored before the third out to put the Phillies up 7-4.

Barajas led off the fifth with a single.  Eaton bunted, but not well, and the Astros forced Barajas at second for the first out of the inning.  Rollins and Victorino both grounded out to end the inning with the Phils still up 7-4.

Utley and Howard went down to start the sixth before Burrell hit one the other way down the line in right for a stand up double.  Bourn pinch ran for Burrell.  Again, to reiterate, it was the sixth inning.  Helms hit a ground ball to third and Lamb tried to tag Bourn as he went by.  Bourn was originally called safe, but discussion among the umpires ensued and he was called out to end the inning.

Rowand was hit by a pitch to start the seventh but Barajas struck out and Dobbs popped out behind him.  A single from Rollins moved Rowand to second and Victorino scored them both with a double over the head of awful outfielder Lee in left.  9-4 Phils.  Utley followed with a titanic homer to center that hit high off the brick wall.  11-4 Phils.  Howard struck out to end the inning and drop his average to .218.

Michael Bourn singled to right to start the ninth and Helms followed with a looping ground rule double into right that Lee didn't really shine on.  Rowand, Barajas and pinch-hitter Jayson Werth struck out to leave the runners stranded on second and third.

Jimmy Rollins was 4-for-5 with a triple, a homer and two RBI.  He's slugging .675.  He hasn't drawn a walk in 11 games.

Victorino was 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI.  Rollins and Victorino combine to go 7-for-10 and knock in five runs.

Utley was 1-for-5 with a mammoth homer and three RBI.

Howard was 1-for-5 and struck out three times.  2-for-his-last-13 with six strikeouts.

Burrell was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  He's on-basing .449 and slugging .439.  The double was his only extra-base hit in his last 14 games.  Bourn was 1-for-1 with a single into right field, signaling the end of an era.  No longer can we complain that Burrell is being pinch-run for in the sixth by a guy with two career hits, both infield singles.  It was a simpler time and my heart aches for it.

Helms was 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI.  He's 6-for-his-last-10.  He hasn't drawn a walk in his last ten games after drawing five through the first six.

Rowand was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  7-for-his-last-16. 

Barajas was 1-for-4 with a walk.  He's 4-for-his-last-12 with four singles. 

Jamie Moyer (2-1, 3.05) faces righty Jason Bergmann (0-1, 3.94) tonight.  Moyer has made three starts this season and has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of them.  He was tremendous against the Nats on Thursday, going eight shutout innings before allowing back-to-back doubles to start the ninth.  Bergmann has also made three starts, two of which have been good.  He faced the Phils last Wednesday and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk.  The two runs he was charged with came when Greg Dobbs hit a two-run single off of Saul Rivera in the seventh after Bergmann had left the game.

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