After five straight terrible starts in a row in which he had thrown to a 9.91 ERA, Joe Blanton was fantastic last night, holding the Twins to a single run over nine innings as the Phils topped Minnesota 6-1.
The Phillies came into the contest having allowed at least five runs in each of their last seven games and an average of 7.14 runs per game over those seven.
Jim Thome delivered another enormous hit for the Phillies in the game, a three-run homer in the top of the third off of lefty starter Scott Diamond. Last night’s game was the sixth-straight DH game the Phillies have played. In those six, Thome has gone 11-for-24 with three homers and 13 RBI, putting up a 458/536/917 line and driving in a third of the 39 runs the Phillies have scored.
The Phillies are 31-34 on the year after beating the Minnesota Twins 6-1 last night. The Phillies take the series two games to one. They are in last place in the NL East, nine games behind the Nationals.
On the season, the Phillies have scored one more run than they have allowed (scored 283 and allowed 282). The Mets have also scored one more run than they have allowed (291 to 290), but the Mets are 35-29 and in second place in the NL East. The Marlins, a game over .500 and two games ahead of the Phils in the standings, have allowed 34 more runs than they have scored.
Blanton got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing a run over nine innings on seven hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.
Ben Revere singled with one out in the bottom of the first and stole second before Blanton struck out Joe Mauer for the second out.
The Phillies led 1-0 when Blanton started the second. He got Justin Morneau for the first out before Trevor Plouffe hit an 0-2 pitch out to left, tying the game at 1-1. Blanton struck Chris Parmelee out swinging for the second out before Alexi Casilla doubled to right. Jamey Carroll lined softly to second to leave Casilla at first.
Plouffe was 5-for-13 with a double and three home runs in the series. Blanton made a terrible pitch to him way ahead in the count.
Up 4-1, Blanton set the Twins down in order in the third.
Morneau singled to center with one out in the fourth, but Blanton got the next two hitters behind him.
He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.
Joe Mauer singled to right with one out in the sixth, but Blanton got Willingham on a fly ball to left and Morneau on a fly ball to center to leave him at first.
Casilla singled to right with two outs in the seventh. Carroll flew to center for the third out.
Blanton started the eighth up 5-1. Mauer reached on an infield single with two outs and took second on a wild pitch, but Blanton struck Willingham out looking 3-2 to leave him at second.
Up 6-1, Blanton set the Twins down in order in the ninth. Parmelee flew to center on Blanton’s 111th pitch of the game for the final out.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Scott Diamond went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Thome (5) Victorino (6) Ruiz (7) Wigginton (8) Mayberry (9) Martinez. Mayberry in left with Pierre on the bench against the lefty. Thome continues to DH against the lefty. Wigginton at first and Martinez at second.
Pence singled with two outs in the first and Thome walked behind him, putting two men on for Victorino. Victorino popped to Plouffe in foul territory for the third out.
With one out in the second, Wigginton hit an 0-1 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Mayberry and Martinez went down behind him.
The game was tied at 1-1 when Rollins doubled to left to start the third. He moved up to third when Polanco grounded to second for the first out. Minnesota brought the infield in, but Pence drew a walk, putting runners on the corners for Thome. Thome hit a 2-0 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 4-1. Victorino grounded out for the second out before Ruiz was hit by a pitch. Wigginton grounded to second for the third out.
Thome crushed the ball for another home run, this time against a lefty. First home run for Thome for the year against a lefty. He’s just 2-for-9 against them for the season.
Casilla made a great play in the inning to take a hit away from Victorino. Victorino hit the ball back up the middle. It was deflected and slowed by Diamond, but Casilla jumped on it and made a strong throw to first to nip Victorino.
Rollins singled with two outs in the fourth, but Polanco grounded to third to leave him there.
The Phils went in order in the fifth and again in the sixth.
Righty Lester Oliveros set Martinez, Rollins and Polanco down in order in the seventh.
Oliveros walked Victorino with two outs in the eighth. Ruiz was next and doubled to left, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 5-1. Righty Alex Burnett took over for Oliveros and struck out Wigginton to end the frame.
Mayberry led off the ninth and righty Jeff Gray walked him in an 11-pitch at-bat. Martinez hit into a double-play behind him. Rollins reached on an infield single and stole second before Polanco singled into center, scoring Rollins to make it 6-1. Pence flew to center for the third out.
Rollins was 3-for-5 with a double in the game and 8-for-15 with three doubles in the series. 257/304/364 on the year. He has two walks in his last 97 plate appearances.
Polanco 1-for-5 with an RBI last night and 1-for-10 in the series. 280/306/360 for the season.
Pence was 1-for-4 with a walk. 4-for-13 with two walks in the series. 282/349/478. His isolated power of his last 51 plate appearances is zero — 15-for-47 (.319) with 15 singles.
Thome 1-for-3 with a walk, a home run and three RBI in the game. He was 5-for-11 with two walks, three home runs and nine RBI in the series. 295/392/545 for the year. On June 7 he was 2-for-20 on the year after going 0-for-1 against the Dodgers. Since then he’s gone 11-for-24 with two doubles and three home runs.
Victorino 0-for-3 to drop his average to .248. 2-for-13 with a walk and a double in the series. 230/305/400 over his last 224 plate appearances. 248/319/409 for the year.
Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double and hit by a pitch. 6-for-10 with three walks and four doubles in the series. 361/420/579 for the year.
Wigginton 1-for-4 with his seventh home run of the year. 1-for-9 in the series. 254/322/409 on the year.
Mayberry was 0-for-3 with a walk last night and 2-for-10 with a walk, a double and a home run in the series. 222/259/340 for the year. Last night’s walk was his only walk in his last 42 plate appearances.
Martinez 0-for-4 last night. 3-for-12 with a walk in the series. 4-for-17 with four singles for the season (.235).
Worley (3-2, 3.00) faces righty Drew Hutchison (5-3, 4.66) tonight in Toronto. The Phillies have lost three of the last four games that Worley has started. In those starts he’s allowed 14 runs in 22 innings with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.55 ratio. The 21-year-old Hutchinson came into his last outing having allowed just one run in 14 innings in his two previous starts, but gave up five runs in 6 1/3 against the Braves. Through ten starts, he has nearly identical numbers against righties and lefties. Righties have hit 259/328/435 against him and lefties 258/328/433. That’s weird.