The Phillies jumped out to a 6-0 lead early last night in Pittsburgh for the second time in two days. After leading 6-0 in the fourth on Friday, the Phils were up 6-0 in the second on Saturday. Unlike Eaton on Friday, Kyle Kendrick found himself on the mound, although briefly, in the eighth inning and the Phils rolled to an 8-4 win.
The game also saw the return of Ryan Howard to the starting lineup after two days starting the game on the bench. Howard stroked a two-run homer in the first, but ended the day 1-for-4 with a walk and two more strikeouts.
The Phillies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates last night, winning 8-4 to improve to 14-11. It’s the third win in a row for the Phils who are three games over .500 for the first time on the year.
Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. Only three of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter.
Kendrick got two ground balls and a strikeout in the first, pitching with a 5-0 lead.
Up 6-0 in the second, he set the Pirates down 1-2-3.
Kendrick hit Brian Bixler with one out in the third, giving the Pirates their first base runner. Pitcher Phil Dumatrait bunted Bixler to second for the second out down six runs. Nate McLouth followed with a single into center and the Pirates were on the board at 6-1 as Bixler scored. Freddy Sanchez followed with a double into right. Jenkins had no chance to throw out McLouth, who scored on the play to make it 6-2, but missed the cutoff man completely. It didn’t matter, though, cause Jason Bay grounded to third to end the inning.
Xavier Nady ripped a double into left with one out in the fourth. Doug Mientkiewicz flew to center for the second out before Ronny Paulino smashed a ground ball to short, but Bruntlett made a nice play to end the inning.
Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fifth and a 1-2-3 sixth.
Mientkiewicz singled into center with one out in the seventh. Paulino was next and hit a dribbler between the mound and the third base line. Kendrick got on it fast, but threw wildly to first. Paulino went to second on the error and the Pirates had runners on second and third with one out. Bixler grounded out to second and Mientkiewicz scored to make it 8-3. Jose Bautista hit for the pitcher and grounded out to second to end the inning.
Nate McLouth hit Kendrick’s first pitch of the eighth out for a home run that cut the Phillies’ lead to 8-4. Sanchez followed with a single and Seanez relieved Kendrick. Bay hit a ground ball to short and Sanchez was forced at second for the first out. LaRoche singled into right, moving Bay to third.
Madson threw a quick 1-2-3 ninth.
Seanez threw just ten pitches, Madson six. The single by LaRoche is the only hit Seanez has allowed on the season in eight innings, although he has walked seven.
The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Morris went (1) Werth (2) Dobbs (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Coste (8) Bruntlett. Howard returns to the lineup after two days starting the game on the bench. Utley goes back to second after playing first the night before. Dobbs gets another start at third against a righty and Coste gets to catch again after a big game with the bat on Friday night.
Utley singled to right with two outs in the first. Howard was next and hit a 1-2 pitch out to center field, putting the Phils up 2-0. Jenkins followed and hit a ball hard to right and off the glove of Nady for a two-base error. Burrell scored and it put the Phils up 3-0. Coste was hit by a pitch, putting men on first and second for Bruntlett. Bruntlett came through with a single into center. Jenkins scored to make it 4-0 and Coste went to second. Kendrick hit a ground ball to short that Bixler booted for the Pirates second error of the inning. Coste scored to make it 5-0 with Bruntlett moving to second. Werth flew to right for the third out.
With one out in the second, Utley singled and Howard moved him to second with a walk. Burrell popped out for the second out, but Jenkins singled into left and Utley scored to make it 6-0. Howard went to second. Lefty Phil Dumatrait relieved Morris and got Coste on a popup to short to end the frame.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third. Dumatrait struck out Utley and Howard in a 1-2-3 fourth.
They didn’t figure out Dumatrait in the fifth, either, as Burrell, Jenkins and Coste went down in order. Ten in a row for Dumatrait.
Bruntlett started the sixth with a routine ground ball to short that Bixler booted again for his second error of the night. Kendrick tried to bunt him to second but couldn’t, striking out for the first out. Werth followed with a double down the line in left and Bruntlett was waived home. Close play at the plate and Bruntlett may have been out if Paulino hadn’t dropped the ball. A little too aggressive for me with one out, but it made the score 7-2. Feliz was next and he split the gap in right center with another double. Werth scored and it was 8-2. The righties Werth and Feliz finally get through against the lefty Doumatrait. Utley followed with a walk that put men on first and second, but Howard struck out for the second out. Righty Franquelis Osoria came in to pitch to Burrell and got a ground ball to third to end the frame.
Jenkins singled to start the seventh, but Coste followed and hit into a double-play. Bruntlett grounded to first for the third out.
Kendrick hit for himself to lead off the eighth having thrown 93 pitches and the Phils up 8-3. He drew a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch before Werth walked, putting men on first and second with nobody out. Feliz lined to second and Kendrick was doubled off of second. Utley struck out to end the frame.
Burrell and Jenkins struck out in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Werth was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk.
Dobbs was 0-for-3.
Utley 2-for-4 with a walk He’s hitting .374.
Howard 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk and struck out twice.
Burrell 1-for-5 and left four men on base.
Jenkins 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Bruntlett 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Brett Myers (2-1, 4.78) faces lefty Paul Maholm (1-2, 4.22) this afternoon. Righties are hitting .328 against righties on the year, lefties .238. He’s walked just six in his 21 1/3 innings and hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh inning this year. He faced the Phils once last season and allowed six runs over seven innings. In his last four starts, Myers has allowed eight home runs in 27 innings. Lefties are hitting .180 against him and righties .325.