The Phillies have quietly, very, very, quietly, won four of five and five of their last seven. It sure doesn’t seem that way. It seems like every game, every inning has been a hopeless battle to score runs. Last night they finally broke one open, though. Utley and Howard, both slogging through a tough August, each homered. But it was Chris Coste who stole the show. Coste had four RBI in the game and put the Phils up to stay with a three-run homer in the sixth.
The Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, winning 8-1 to improve to 69-59 on the year. The win comes a week after the Phils were swept by the Dodgers in a four-game set in LA.
Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing a run on three hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out three.
Nice to see Kendrick bounce back coming off of back-to-back miserable starts.
Kendrick struck Matt Kemp out for the first out of the game, but Andre Ethier was next and the lefty hit a 3-1 pitch out to left to put LA up 1-0. Jeff Kent popped to third before Kendrick walked Manny Ramirez. James Loney hit a ball hard to right, but Jenkins took it at the wall to end the frame.
Kendrick hit Casey Blake with two outs in the second. Blake went to second on a wild pitch before the pitcher Greg Maddux struck out swinging to leave him stranded.
Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 third.
James Loney doubled with one out in the fourth, but Kendrick got the next two to leave him stranded.
Up 2-1 in the fifth, Kendrick set the Dodgers down in order.
He got the first two in the sixth with a 3-1 lead before he walked Manny again. Loney moved Manny to second with a single. It put men on first and second with two down for Russell Martin and Manuel called on Durbin to pitch to Martin. Martin flew to right for the third out.
Durbin pitched the seventh with a 7-1 lead. He got the first two before Mark Sweeney hit for the pitcher Tanyon Sturtze and singled. Kemp flew to right for the third out.
Madson pitched the eighth with an 8-1 lead coming off a bad night on Thursday. He set LA down 1-2-3, striking Manny out swinging for the third out.
Eyre pitched the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Loney before he struck out Pablo Ozuna for the first out. Nomar Garciaparra hit into a double-play to end the game.
The pen gives the Phils 3 1/3 scoreless frames in relief of Kendrick. They allowed two hits and didn’t walk a batter. Madson pitches the eighth with an 8-1 lead and Durbin hits for himself and comes back to pitch the seventh with the Phils up 7-1. Would have been nice to give those guys a break, they both pitched Thursday, and give Seanez or Condrey a chance. The game was close when Durbin entered in the sixth, but I’m not as sure they needed him to come back for the seventh up six. Condrey had thrown 24 pitches on Thursday.
The Phillies’ lineup against righty Greg Maddux went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Dobbs (7) Jenkins (8) Coste. Utley moves up to second with Burrell moving from fifth to third. Victorino up to fifth from sixth. Dobbs plays third against the righty. Jenkins returns to the starting lineup in right. Coste catches after Ruiz homered the night before. I love that lineup one through four. Victorino isn’t really an ideal five hitter, though.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first and again in the second.
In the third, Jenkins led off with an infield single but Coste hit into a double-play behind him. Kendrick struck out for the third out. Jenkins may have hurt himself running out his infield single to third — he left the game with a strained right hip in the top of the fourth with Werth entering to play right.
The Phils started the fourth down 1-0. Rollins grounded to first and Utley struck out before Burrell fouled off five pitches in a ten-pitch at-bat before drawing a walk. Howard was next and got ahead 2-0 before he hit one out the opposite way to put the Phils up 2-1. Victorino flew to left for the third out.
Dobbs led off the fifth with a single. Martin tried to pick him off first but threw the ball away, allowing Dobbs to go to second. A single from Werth moved Dobbs to third. Coste was next and blasted a single back through the middle. Dobbs scored to make it 3-1. Kendrick bunted the runners to second and third for the first out. Rollins flew to left and the runners had to hold. Utley struck out looking at a 2-2 pitch.
No more for the Phils with men on second and third and one out. Rollins can’t bring the runner in from third with one out.
Burrell led off the sixth with a single to left. Howard flew out for the first out before Victorino moved Burrell to second with a single to right. A single by Dobbs loaded the bases for Werth and Werth hit a fly ball to right deep enough for Burrell to tag and score and put the Phils up 4-1. Coste broke the game open by hammering a 1-1 pitch out to left. 7-1. Durbin hit for himself and popped to second.
Utley homered to center with one out in the seventh to make it 8-1. Burrell and Howard went down behind him.
Werth walked with two outs in the eighth. Coste hit it hard to third, but Blake threw him out from his knees to end the inning.
Rollins was 0-for-4.
Utley 1-for-4 with a home run and two strikeouts.
Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk.
Howard 1-for-4 with a two-run homer.
Jenkins 1-for-1. Werth 1-for-1 with a walk and an RBI.
Coste 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.
Cole Hamels (10-8, 3.22) faces lefty Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.59) this afternoon. The 20-year-old Kershaw has made 14 starts for the Dodgers this season including one against the Phillies earlier this month. On August 12 he allowed three runs in six innings against the Phils. Utley homered against him in that game. Lefties have hit just .217 against him this season, righties .278 with a 1.63 ratio. He has allowed one run or zero runs in four of his last five starts. Hamels faced Kershaw in the August 12 game and outpitched him, allowing two runs over seven innings (LA won the game 4-3 as Durbin and Romero both allowed runs late). Over his last three starts Hamels hasn’t allowed a home run and has walked just three in 21 1/3 innings.