There was lots of speculation about what it would take to snap the Phils out of their collective offensive slump and the answer has finally revealed itself: Texas Rangers’ pitching. The Rangers came in to the series having allowed the most runs in all of baseball and the Phils feasted in the first two games. The 15 runs the Phillies have scored in the first two games of the set are as many as they had scored in their previous eight games combined.
Last night it was former Phil Vicente Padilla the Phils hit hard. Padilla ended the night charged with seven runs in six innings. Phillies’ pitchers have struggled in Texas as well, but last night they hung on with the help of a huge strikeout from Romero in the bottom of the eighth and Lidge’s ability to get out of a jam of his own creation in the ninth.
The Phillies beat the Texas Rangers last night, winning 8-6 to improve to 44-38 on the season.
Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out eight.
Ian Kinsler led off the first with a single. Michael Young was next and he hit a 2-0 pitch out to right to put Texas up 2-0. Hamels got the next three.
Hamels threw a 1-2-3 second with the Phils up 3-2.
Josh Hamilton led off the fourth with a walk, but Milton Bradley followed and hit into a double-play. Hamels struck out Marlon Byrd for the third out.
Hamels walked Max Ramirez to start the fifth. Brandon Boggs was next and hit a ground ball to short. The Phils forced Ramirez at first but Utley throw to first was bad for an error that allowed Boggs to wind up at second with one out. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was next and drove a ball into left-center that landed on the warning track. Boggs scored on the double to cut the Phillies’ lead to 6-3. Hamels struck out German Duran for the second out before Kinsler ripped a single into center. Salty scored and it was 6-4. Young moved Kinsler to third with a single, but Hamels struck out Hamilton to leave both men stranded.
Bradley started the sixth with a single, but Byrd hit into a double-play behind him and Hamels struck out Ramirez to end the inning.
Hamels threw a 1-2-3 seventh.
Durbin started the eighth. Kinsler led off the first with a single, but Durbin picked him off for the first out before Young grounded to short for the second out. Hamilton was next and hit a hard ground ball to first off the body of Howard for a single. Howard should have made the play. Bradley was next and popped an 0-1 pitch up foul, but his backswing caught and knocked off Coste’s glove. Coste was charged with catcher’s interference and Bradley was given first base with Hamilton moving to second. Byrd followed with a single into center that loaded the bases with one out. Ramirez singled into left and Hamilton scored to cut the Phillies’ lead to 8-5 with the bases still loaded. Romero came in to pitch to the switch-hitter Boggs and walked him, forcing in another run. 8-6 with the bases still loaded. Romero stayed in to pitch to Saltalamacchia and struck him out for the third out.
Manuel again doesn’t bring Lidge into a tight game in the eighth, maybe cause it’s the eighth and maybe because Saltalamacchia needs to face a lefty. Boggs has been much better this season against lefties than against righties. 282/333/641 against lefties and 252/328/364 against righties. Saltalamacchia has been much better against righties than lefties this season.
Lidge did pitch the ninth. Pinch-hitter Ramon Vazquez led off with a double into the right field corner. Kinsler grounded to third for the first out before Young singled into left, moving Vazquez to third. Lidge struck Hamilton out swinging at a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Bradley went down swinging on three pitches to end the game.
Two innings for the pen. They allow two runs on six hits and a walk. Durbin threw 23 pitches, Romero 12 and Lidge 17.
The Phillies’ lineup against righty Vicente Padilla went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Burrell (5) Howard (6) Dobbs (7) Feliz (8) Werth (9) Coste. Werth plays right against the righty with the slumping lefty Jenkins on the bench. Victorino moves back to second in the order. Utley back in his standard three spot, but Burrell stays hitting cleanup with Howard fifth. Dobbs is the DH and Coste catches. Don’t know why you don’t let Burrell DH. In this game the Phils replaced him in the seventh.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first.
Howard drew a walk with one out in the second. Dobbs and Feliz followed with singles that loaded the bases. Werth was next and he singled into left, Howard and Dobbs both scored with the help of a miserable throw from Boggs to tie the game at 2-2. Werth went to second on the throw home. Padilla uncorked a wild pitch with Coste at the plate and the runners moved up a base with Feliz scoring to make it 3-2. Coste was down 0-2 before the wild pitch but struck out for the second out. Rollins flew to left for the third out.
Coste can’t put the ball in play with one out and men on second and third.
Utley homered with one out in the third to make it 4-2. Burrell followed with a walk before Howard hit a long home run to right-center. 6-2. Dobbs reached on an error by Young at short, but Feliz hit into a double-play to end the frame.
Werth walked to start the fourth. Coste was next and was hit by a pitch. Rollins flew to right for the first out before Victorino hit a ball back to Padilla. Padilla threw to second to force Coste and Werth moved to third. Utley flew to center for the third out.
Phils get nothing after putting men on first and second with one out.
1-2-3 in the fifth.
Coste doubled to left with two outs in the sixth. Rollins was next and blasted a 3-1 pitch to right-center and off the base of the wall. It rolled back passed the right fielder Hamilton. Coste scored easily to make it 7-4 and Rollins rolled around third and went for the inside-the-park home run but was tagged out on a close play at the plate to end the frame.
Victorino led off the seventh with a bunt single. Utley was next and hit a ball the opposite way and over the outstretched glove of Boggs in left for a double. Victorino scored to put the Phils up 8-4. Burrell struck out, Howard grounded to second and Dobbs flew to center to leave Utley stranded.
1-2-3 in the eighth.
Utley doubled with two outs in the ninth, but Bruntlett flew to center for the third out.
Rollins was 1-for-5 with a triple and an RBI.
Victorino 1-for-5 and struck out twice.
Utley 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and two RBI.
Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk.
Howard 1-for-3 with a walk, a home run and two RBI.
Werth 1-for-3 with two RBI.
Coste 1-for-3 with a double.
Jamie Moyer (7-5, 4.09) faces righty Eric Hurley (0-1, 4.24) late this afternoon. The highly-touted Hurley doesn’t turn 23 until September and has made three starts for the Rangers this season. In 17 innings he’s allowed 17 hits and nine walks while striking out nine. At Triple-A this season he struck out 72 in 74 2/3 innings in 13 PCL starts, but opponents still hit .285 against him. Moyer has a 3.38 ERA with a 1.03 ratio in five June starts. The Phillies have won six of the last eight games he has started.