Lots of fans hoping the Phils snap out of it these days, but it didn’t happen last night in Minnesota as the weak-hitting Twins hammered away at Phillie pitching for an 11-7 win.
The starting pitching continued to struggle for the Phils. Kyle Kendrick allowed home runs in each of the first two innings on his way to allowing six runs over four frames in the game.
Over the last 23 games, the Phillies have made eight quality starts. In those games the rotation has thrown to a 5.62 ERA with a 1.45 ratio and the Phils are 8-15.
The bullpen was almost as bad as Kendrick last night, allowing five runs on nine hits and two walks over four innings as Savery and Rosenberg were both hit hard.
The Twins had 17 hits in eight innings in the game. The Phillies used five pitchers in the game and the first four of them all allowed two or more hits per inning in their outing.
The loss drops the Phils to five games under .500 for the year. On May 8, 2007, the Phillies lost to Arizona 3-2 to fall to 14-19 on the year. That’s the last time they were five games under .500.
All in all, the Phils picked a queer time to unveil their equally odd “Fake Tough” t-shirts before the game, a reference to Nationals GM Mike Rizzo’s comments after Hamels drilled Bryce Harper on May 6. The Phillies have gone 15-19 since that game while the first place Nats are 19-13.
The Phillies are 29-34 on the year after losing 11-7 to the Minnesota Twins last night. They have lost three in a row and nine of their last ten. They are in last place in the NL East, 9 1/2 games behind Washington.
Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out two. Over his last two starts he has allowed 11 runs in 9 2/3 innings.
Denard Span led off the bottom of the first and hit a 1-0 pitch out to right, putting the Twins up 1-0. Kendrick got the next three.
Ryan Doumit singled with one out in the second. Trevor Plouffe was next and hit a ball way out to left. 3-0. Kendrick got Brian Dozier on a fly ball to left before Jamey Carroll singled to right. Span walked behind Carroll, putting runners on first and second for Ben Revere. Revere singled to right, scoring Carroll (4-0) and moving Span to third. Joe Mauer followed that with a single and everyone moved up another base. Span scored and it was 5-0. Josh Willingham popped to second to finally end the inning.
Justin Morneau doubled to left to start the third, but Kendrick got the next three hitters to leave him stranded.
The lead was cut to 5-4 when Kendrick started the fourth. He walked Span with one out, but struck Revere out looking behind him for the second. Mauer was next, though, and he doubled off the wall in center, scoring Span to make it 6-4. Willingham grounded to third for the third out.
Savery started the fifth. Ryan Doumit singled to right with one out and moved up to third when the ball was misplayed by Pence. Plouffe followed with a single into center on a ball deflected by a diving Rollins. Doumit scored to make it 7-4. Savery got Dozier swinging for the second out before Carroll doubled into the left field corner, scoring Plouffe to extend the lead to 8-4. Span fouled out to Ruiz for the third out.
The lead had been cut to 8-7 when Savery started the sixth. Revere led off with a single, but was picked off of first with Wigginton throwing to Rollins to record the out. Savery struck Mauer out swinging for the second out before Willingham blasted a 3-2 pitch out to left center, making it 9-7. Morneau grounded to short for the third out.
Savery goes two innings in the game, allowing three runs on five hits and no walks to raise his ERA to 4.12. He has been charged with four runs in 2 1/3 innings over his last two appearances. Five is the most hits he has ever allowed in an appearance. Six of the last 13 batters he has faced have gotten hits (.462).
BJ Rosenberg started the seventh and got Doumit swinging for the first out before Plouffe doubled to center. Dozier struck out looking for the second out before Carroll singled into center, scoring Plouffe to make it 10-7. Diekman came in to pitch to Span and walked him, putting runners on first and second. Revere singled into right, scoring Carroll (11-7) and moving Span up to third. Mauer walked to load the bases, but Diekman got Willingham looking 0-2 to leave them loaded.
During Revere’s at-bat, Revere popped a foul near the stands. Fontenot was about to make the catch that would have ended the inning, but a young fan in Phillies gear reached out and caught the ball, taking the out that would have ended the inning away from the Phillies.
Rosenberg has now made two appearances with the Phils and both of them have been bad. He has allowed four runs over 1 2/3 innings.
Qualls pitched the eighth. He allowed a one-out double to Doumit. Plouffe grounded out behind Doumit for the second out and Darin Mastroianni ran for Doumit at second. Dozier flew to center to end the inning.
Qualls has thrown three scoreless innings over two appearances since allowing four runs in a third of an inning against the Dodgers on June 7.
Overall the pen went four innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and two walks. Savery threw 37 pitches, Diekman 20 and Qualls 18.
The Phillies lineup against righty Nick Blackburn, who came into the start with a 7.75 ERA through eight outings on the year, went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Thome (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Ruiz (8) Fontenot (9) Martinez. Pierre in left against the righty. Thome at DH. Wigginton at first and Fontenot at third. Martinez plays second. Mayberry on the bench against a righty, which is something.
Rollins was the first batter of the game and singled to right. Pierre walked behind him, but Pence was next and grounded into a double-play. Thome grounded to short to leave Rollins at third.
Ruiz doubled to center with two outs in the top of the second and the Phils down 1-0. Fontenot grounded to second to leave him stranded.
The Phillies were down 5-0 when they hit in the third. Rollins doubled with one out and moved to third on a ground out by Pierre. Pence grounded to short to leave him at third.
Thome led off the fourth with a walk and took second on a wild pitch before moving to third on a ground out by Victorino. Wigginton was next and grounded to third for the second out. Thome came home to score to cut the lead to 5-1. Ruiz and Fontenot singled back-to-back, putting runners on first and second for Martinez. Martinez singled to right, scoring Ruiz (5-2) and moving Fontenot up to third for Rollins. Rollins cleared the bases with a bloop double just foul down the left field line. 5-4. Pierre grounded to second to leave Rollins stranded.
Victorino singled with two outs in the fifth and the Phils down 6-4. Wigginton grounded to short for the third out.
Lefty Brian Duensing walked Victorino to start the sixth with the Phillies down 8-4. Fontenot struck out before Martinez moved Victorino up to second with a single. Rollins followed with a single to left that loaded the bases for Pierre. Mayberry hit for Pierre and righty Alex Burnett came in to pitch to him. Mayberry got behind in the count, but grounded to third on a 1-2 pitch. Everyone moved up a base and Rollins scored to cut the lead to 8-5 with two outs and men on second and third. Pence walked to load the bases again, this time for Thome. Thome lined a single to left, scoring Martinez and Rollins and moving Pence to third with the score 8-7. Victorino flew to left to leave the runners on the corners.
Good no-strikeout by Mayberry after he gets behind in the count against the righty. Big hit for Thome.
The Phillies trailed 9-7 when they hit in the seventh with righty Jared Burton was on the mound for the Twins. Fontenot and Martinez singled back-to-back with two outs, putting runners on the corners for Rollins. Rollins popped to short for the third out.
They were down 11-7 when lefty Glen Perkins struck out Mayberry and Pence to start the eighth. Thome singled to left with two outs, but Victorino fouled out to the catcher to end the frame.
Righty Matt Capps set Wigginton, Ruiz and Fontenot down in order in the ninth.
Rollins was 4-for-5 in the game with two doubles and two RBI. That’s his first four-hit game of the year and first since September 17, 2011 against the Cardinals. He’s hitting 339/361/627 over his last 61 plate appearances.
Pierre was 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s 6-for-his-last-29 (.207).
Pence was 0-for-4 with a walk and an error. He came into the game 6-for-his-last-9. He’s hitting .289 over his last 38 at-bats, but without an extra-base hit.
Thome was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. In the first four games of his nine-game stint as a DH he has gone 8-for-17 with a walk, two doubles and a home run.
Victorino was 1-for-5 and left four men on base. He’s 2-for-his-last-13. 234/308/406 over his last 215 plate appearances. 236/309/338 against right-handed pitching for the year.
Wigginton was 0-for-5 with an RBI. Clever defensive positioning by the Phils helps keep him off the error board. He’s 3-for-his-last-22.
Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 6-for-his-last-30.
Fontenot was 2-for-5 with no errors at third. 261/320/391 over his last 25 plate appearances.
Martinez was 3-for-4 with three singles. He’s 4-for-9 with the Phillies so far this year.
Hamels (8-3, 2.93) faces righty PJ Walters (2-1, 4.42) tonight. Hamels threw to a 2.17 ERA through his first nine starts on the year. He’s allowed at least four runs in each of his last three, throwing to a 5.23 ERA in those outings overall. In each of his last two starts the Phillies lost the game after taking a three-run lead early in the game. Walters has made six starts on the year. He had a 2.96 ERA for the year after the first four but has allowed nine runs in 9 1/3 innings over his last two times out. He has walked way too many lefties this season, about 14.1% of the left-handed batters he has faced. Lefties are hitting .282 against him and on-basing .381.