Looking for a sign of life from the Phillies? The Phillies need a spark and the last two games against the miserable Rockies make you wonder if they might have found it. After pounding Colorado in the series opener, the Phillies rallied for two late last night for a 7-6 win.
Trailing by a run with two outs and nobody on in the ninth, five straight Phillies reached base against Colorado closer Rafael Betancourt. Ty Wigginton, who came into his at-bat 3-for-his-last-31, singled to left and came around to tie the game when Pence blasted a double high off the wall in the left field corner. Ruiz was walked intentionally before Victorino hit a ground ball to short that should have sent the game to extra-innings, but a hustling Victorino beat Marco Scutaro’s throw to first to keep the frame alive. Polanco followed and hit another ground ball to short and again wound up just safe, this time on Todd Helton’s error as the Colorado first baseman’s foot couldn’t quite find the bag in time.
It was the first time this season that the Phillies had won a game they were losing after eight innings.
The bad news is that Joe Blanton was awful again, allowing five runs, all five of which scored on the three home runs he allowed in the first four innings of the game. Blanton pitched to a 2.96 ERA in his first eight starts of the year. Since then he has made seven starts in which he has thrown to a 7.44 ERA, allowing 15 home runs in 42 1/3 innings. He has allowed at least five earned runs in six of his last seven outings.
The Phillies are 33-37 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 7-6 last night. They have won two in a row, but remain in last place in the NL East, eight games behind the first-place Nationals.
Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all home runs. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out six.
Carlos Gonzalez singled to center with two outs in the top of the first, but Blanton got Michael Cuddyer on a ground ball to second to end the frame.
The Phillies were up 1-0 when Blanton started the second. Jordan Pacheco and Chris Nelson singled back-to-back with one out, putting runners on first and second for Wilin Rosario. Rosario hit an 0-1 pitch out to center, putting Colorado up 3-1. Blanton struck pitcher Alex White out swinging for the second out and Tyler Colvin out swinging for the third.
Blanton started the third up 4-3. He got the first before Cuddyer hit a 3-2 pitch out to left, tying the game at 4-4. Todd Helton grounded to first for the third out.
Second time in two innings Blanton gave away the lead by allowing a home run.
With one out in the fourth and the game still tied, Chris Nelson homered to center. 5-4 Colorado. Blanton got the next two.
First time in one inning Blanton gave away the tie by allowing a home run.
With the score tied at 5-5, Blanton set the Rockies down in order in the fifth.
He threw a 1-2-3 sixth and struck out Rosario and pitcher Jeremy Guthrie in the seventh.
Bastardo started the eighth. Switch-hitter Dexter Fowler hit for the lefty Tyler Colvin and walked. Scutaro lined to third before Gonzalez moved Fowler up to third with a single to right. Bastardo struck Cuddyer out swinging 1-2 for the second out before Gonzalez stole second. Helton fouled out to Polanco to leave the runners at second and third.
Huge strikeout for Bastardo to get the righty Cuddyer with one out and runners on first and third. He was pitching for the first time since June 13 and has allowed one run on five hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings over his last seven appearances.
Papelbon started the ninth with the game still tied. He got the first two batters before Rosario doubled to right. Lefty Jason Giambi hit for the pitcher Matt Belisle and was walked intentionally. Pitcher Josh Outman ran for Giambi at first. Fowler was the next hitter for Colorado and he singled to right, scoring Rosario to put Colorado up 6-5 with men on first and third. Fowler stole second before Papelbon struck Scutaro out to leave runners on second and third.
Great job by Manuel to bring Papelbon into a non-save situation, but again Papelbon doesn’t pitch well. In 17 innings in save situations this year, Papelbon has yet to allow a run, pitching to an 0.00 ERA and an 0.58 ratio. In 10 1/3 innings in non-save situations, he has thrown to a 6.10 ERA with a 1.65 ratio.
Bastardo threw 31 pitches in the game and Papelbon 23.
The Phillies lineup against righty Alex White went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Victorino (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Martinez. Pierre in left and Mayberry at first. Ruiz hits cleanup. Martinez at second with the lefty Fontenot on the bench.
Pierre tripled to left with one out in the bottom of the first and came in to score on a ground out by Pence, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ruiz lined to right for the third out.
Polanco singled to center with one out in the second and the Phillies down 3-1. Mayberry followed that with a walk, bringing Martinez to the plate with two men on. Martinez hit a 1-0 pitch out to center, putting the Phils up 4-3. Blanton and Rollins both grounded out behind him to end the inning.
Martinez is a really bad hitter, don’t let the homer fool you, but a big swing there puts the Phils back on top after Rosario’s three-run shot in the top of the second puts them behind.
Ruiz walked with two outs in the bottom of the third and the game tied at 4-4. Victorino bunted for a hit, putting men on first and second for Polanco. Polanco grounded to the pitcher for the third out.
Mayberry doubled to right to start the fourth with the Phillies down 5-4. White got Martinez and Blanton on a pair of ground balls before lefty Matt Reynolds took over for White. Rollins blooped a double to right, scoring Mayberry to tie the game at 5-5. Pierre grounded to second for the third out.
Rollins’s double didn’t look like much, dropping just in front of a changing Cuddyer in right, but it got things even again. Mayberry delivers another extra-base hit that helps get the Phillies a run.
Righty Jeremy Guthrie set the Phillies down in order in the fifth.
Polanco led off the sixth and reached on an error by Scutaro at short, but Mayberry, Martinez and Blanton went in order behind him.
Scutaro was awful in the game and his defense would be a big factor on two plays in the ninth-inning rally. Polanco’s ball was hit in the hole between short and third and he didn’t backhand it cleanly.
Guthrie set the Phillies down in order in the seventh.
Righty Matt Belisle hit Ruiz to start the eighth. Victorino bunted him to second with the first out and Polanco was walked intentionally. Mayberry struck out swinging for the second out and Martinez grounded to first to leave the runners stranded.
Walking Polanco intentionally is a poor idea. The hot Mayberry can’t come through that time, striking out for the second out in a tie game with two men on.
The Phillies were down 6-5 when they started the ninth against righty Rafael Betancourt. Thome hit for Papelbon and grounded out hard to Helton at first for the first out. Rollins grounded to third for the second before Wigginton, who entered the game at first in the top of the eighth, singled to left. Pence was next and he ripped a 1-1 pitch down the line and off the top of the wall in left for a double. Wigginton scored to tie the game at 6-6. Ruiz was walked intentionally to pitch to Victorino. Victorino hit a ground ball to first, but beat Scutaro’s throw for an infield single that loaded the bases. Polanco was next and he hit a ball to short. Scutaro fielded moving towards second and threw to first. The throw was a little high and when Helton tried to get his foot down he missed first base. Polanco was safe, Pence scored and the game was over.
Big two-out hit for Wigginton, who has been struggling terribly. Pence hits a rocket off the wall to tie the game. Victorino’s ball wasn’t hit hard, but Scutaro stayed back on it a little bit. Great job by Victorino to run hard and beat it out. Scutaro’s throw on the ball Polanco hit to end the game was good enough, Helton should have made the play to send the game to extra-innings.
Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI in the game. 14-for-his-last-35 (.400).
Pierre 1-for-4 with a triple. 9-for-his-last-25 (.360).
Pence was 1-for-5 with a game-tying double with two outs in the ninth and two RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-25.
Ruiz went 0-for-2 and walked twice.
Victorino 2-for-4. Big infield single in the ninth-inning rally. 8-for-his-last-36 (.222).
Mayberry 1-for-3 with a walk, a double and two strikeouts. 9-for-his-last-24 with seven extra-base hits.
Martinez 1-for-4 with a three-run homer to raise his average on the year to .182 after 33 at-bats.
Worley (3-3, 2.80) faces lefty Jeff Francis (0-1, 12.46) tonight. Worley has allowed one earned run in 13 innings over his last two starts. Francis has made just two appearances on the season, both starts and both of which didn’t go well. He’s allowed 18 hits in 8 2/3 innings and opponents are hitting .439 against him.