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September 8 2007

In his first start in the majors in five years, John Ennis wasn't great.  But the Phillies don't need great, they need not terrible.  Ennis gave them four innings in which he held the Marlins to a single run -- that was good enough for the Phils on a day when the pen came up big and the bats roared to life.

The Phillies beat the Florida Marlins today, winning 9-1.  They improve to 74-67 on the year and get just their second win in their last seven games. 

Ennis got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing a run on six hits.  Only one of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run by Hanley Ramirez to lead off the game.  He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

Ramirez hit a 2-2 pitch out to center to put the Fish up 1-0.  Jeremy Hermida singled with one out and moved to second on a ground ball to short by Miguel Cabrera.  Josh Willingham moved Hermida to third with an infield single to third, but Ennis got Mike Jacobs on a sinking liner into right for the third out.

Cody Ross started the second with a single, but Ennis got the next three.

Ennis struck out Dan Uggla and Hermida in a 1-2-3 third.  He followed it up with a 1-2-3 fourth.

Miguel Olivo started the fifth with a single.  Alejandro De Aza was next, pinch-hitting for the pitcher Rick VanderHurk, and he lined a ball off of Ennis' glove for a single.  Olivo went to second.  Ennis almost made the catch, if he had he likely would have been able to double Olivo off first.  Instead he was out of the game with two men aboard.  With the Phils up 3-1, Condrey came in to pitch to the righty Ramirez.  With runners of first and second and nobody out, Condrey got the next three Marlins on three fly balls to end the frame.

Ennis made 83 pitches on the day.  The Phillies may have wanted to keep him at or under 85.

Second time in two days Condrey has come in with men on base and done a nice job.

Condrey returned to throw a 1-2-3 sixth. 

He came back for the seventh and struck out Cody Ross to start the inning.  Olivo was next and he singled to left.  Switch-hitter Todd Linden hit for the pitcher Harvey Garcia, and Romero came in to pitch to Linden with the Phils up 4-1 and a man on first with one out.  Romero got Linden on a fly ball to right and Ramirez on a ground ball to short to turn the Marlins away.

Gordon started the eighth with the Phils up 5-1 and gave up a one-out double to Hermida.  Hermida went to third when Cabrera followed with a single.  Gordon got out of it, though.  He got Willingham looking on a 2-2 pitch Willingham thought was a ball.  The lefty Jacobs was next and Gordon struck him out swinging at a 2-2 curve ball.  Haven't seen much of the curve ball from Gordon lately.

Geary pitched the ninth with a 9-1 lead.  He gave up a one out walk to Olivo, but got pinch-hitter Brett Carroll to hit into a double-play to end the inning.  I was thrilled to see Geary and not Myers in there for the ninth after the Phils scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth to blow the game open.

Five shutout innings from the pen.  They allowed three hits and a walk.  Great job by Condrey in the fifth to bail out Ennis.  I don't know how many more curve balls we're going to see from Flash, but if he's only got a few left he picked a good time for one in the eighth.  Hopefully he can still use his arm.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Rick VanderHurk went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Hoawrd (5) Burrell (6) Rowand (7) Dobbs (8) Coste.  Victorino returns to the lineup and the two-hole.  Burrell drops to fifth, which is where he belongs.  Rowand is back in the lineup after leaving Friday night's game with a hip strain.  Dobbs plays third against the righty.  Coste, who was with Ennis at Triple-A, catches.

Rollins started the first with a single, but Victorino flew to left for the first out and Utley grounded into a double-play to end the inning.

Burrell walked with one out in the second and moved to second on a single by Rowand.   Dobbs struck out for the second out, but Coste walked to load the bases.  Ennis struck out looking at a 1-2 pitch.

Rollins reached on an error by the pitcher to start the third, but Victorino hit into a double-play and Utley popped to second.

Burrell walked with one out in the fourth and scored on a two-out triple by Dobbs to tie the game at 1-1.  Coste was next and he socked one out to left, putting the Phillies up 3-1.  Ennis reached on an infield single before Rollins struck out to end the inning.

With one out in the fifth, Utley was hit by a pitch and stole second with Howard at the plate.  Howard dribbled back to the pitcher and Utley went to third, but Burrell struck out to end the inning.

Dobbs homered to right with one out in the sixth, putting the Phils up 4-1.  Coste and Condrey struck out behind him.  Condrey got one out in the top of the seventh after hitting for himself in the sixth.

With one out in the seventh, Victorino singled and stole second.  Utley followed with a single into right.  Victorino scored to put the Phillies up 5-1, but didn't exactly look like he was enjoying the trip around the bases from second on what may still be a tender calf.  Howard and Burrell went down behind Utley.

Rowand started the eighth with a single and Nunez, who had entered in the seventh to play third, followed and laced ball to left that Willingham misplayed into a double (should have been a single but got passed Willingham).  Rowand scored to put the Phils up 6-1.  Nunez went to third on a wild pitch before Coste lined to short for the first out.  Werth, who entered in the top of the inning to play left, singled to center.  Nunez scored and it was 7-1.  Rollins hit a bomb out to right.  9-1.  Victorino and Utley went down to end the inning.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with his 26th home run on the year, which is a new career-high for him.  He needs three RBI the rest of the way to top his career-high of 83. 

Victorino was 1-for-5 with a single.  He stole his 35th base of the season.

Utley was 1-for-4.

Howard was 0-for-4 and struck out twice.  He's 2-for-his-last-19.

Burrell was 0-for-2 with two walks.

Rowand was 2-for-4.

Dobbs was 2-for-3 with a triple and his ninth home run of the year.

Coste was 1-for-3 with a walk and a big two-run homer.

Jamie Moyer (12-11, 5.13) faces left Dontrelle Willis (8-14, 5.01) tomorrow afternoon.  Moyer has thrown to a 6.45 ERA over 37 2/3 innings in his last seven starts.  Opponents hit .353 against him in August and .375 against him so far in September.  In three starts against the Marlins this season he's 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA.  He faced them on April 6, April 29 and August 7.  Willis has gone 2-1 with a 5.25 ERA in four starts against the Phillies this season.  He made starts against the Phils on April 7, April 28, May 24 and August 8.

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