The Phils turned four double-plays in the first five innings last night in support of Joe Blanton’s return to the rotation. With the help of a nice game offensively and some weak defense from the Marlins, the Phils topped Florida 6-4 in the opener of a three-game set.
The top six hitters in the Phillies order combined for ten hits in the game. Ross Gload made his second start of the year in the outfield with a slumping Francisco on the bench and went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.
Blanton was credited with the win, but it wasn’t just the defense that helped him out. Worley gave the Phils three solid innings in relief and Madson nailed down his fourth save in a quiet ninth.
The Phillies are 23-11 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 6-4 last night.
Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out two and has a 5.83 ERA after five starts this season.
He started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead. Chris Coghlan led off with a single and moved to second when Emilio Bonifacio grounded out on a ball hit out in front of the plate that Blanton handled and went to first on. Hanley Ramirez moved Coghlan to third with a single before Gaby Sanchez cleared the bases with a double, putting Florida up 2-1. Blanton walked Mike Stanton behind Sanchez, but got Greg Dobbs to hit into a double-play, with Howard fielding, throwing to second and Blanton taking the throw from Rollins at first, to end the inning.
Blanton struck John Buck out swinging to start the second before Omar Infante singled to left. Pitcher Javier Vazquez bunted Infante to second with the second out before Coghlan singled into left, scoring Infante to make it 3-1. Coghlan stole second before Bonifacio lined to center to leave him there.
He started the third with a 4-3 lead. Ramirez led off with a single, but Sanchez hit into a double-play behind him. Stanton singled to left before Dobbs flew to Victorino for the third out.
Buck started the fourth with a walk and Infante hit into a double-play behind him. Vazquez grounded to third for the third out.
Third double-play turned by the Phillies in three innings.
Coghlan reached on an infield single to start the fifth with the Phils up 6-3. Blanton struck out Bonifacio for the first out and got Ramirez to hit into a double-play behind him.
Worley started the sixth. Sanchez led off with a single to right and moved to second when Stanton grounded to Polanco for the first out. Dobbs hit a ball that Worley handled Sanchez was hung up, Worley threw to Rollins and Rollins threw to Polanco who tagged Sanchez out for the second out. Worley walked Buck in a nine-pitch at-bat, putting men on first and second for Infante. Infante flew to left to end the inning.
Worley walked Coghlan with one out in the seventh, but got the next two hitters behind him.
Worley got ahead of Sanchez to start the eighth, but Sanchez hit an 0-2 pitch out to left to cut the Phillie lead to 6-4. Worley struck out Stanton behind him, got Dobbs to pop to Valdez and struck out Buck looking for the third out.
Madson started the ninth with a two-run lead. Lefty Scott Cousins hit for the pitcher Randy Choate and reached on an infield single. Bryan Petersen followed with a ground ball to short. Cousins was forced at second for the first out with Petersen safe at first. Madson struck Coghlan out swinging 2-2 for the second out and got Bonifacio on a ground ball to second to end the game and earn his fourth save.
Four innings for the pen in which they allow one run on three hits and two walks. Worley threw 61 pitches (Blanton only threw 66), so don’t look for him anytime soon. Madson threw 13.
The Phillies lineup against righty Javier Vazquez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Gload (7) Orr (8) Schneider. The lefty Gload in right with Francisco, 1-for-his-last-20, on the bench. Ibanez hits fifth. The lefties Orr and Schneider in the lineup with righties Valdez and Sardinha on the bench.
Rollins led off the game and homered to center on a 3-1 pitch, putting the Phils up 1-0. Victorino and Polanco went down behind him before Howard doubled to right. Ibanez was next and lined a single into left, but Howard tried to score and was thrown out at home plate by a wide margin to set the Phils down.
Not a close play at the plate as the ball arrived well before Howard, who was tagged standing up.
Down 2-1, the Phils went in order in the second.
Blanton and Rollins singled back-to-back to start the third, putting men on first and second for Victorino. Victorino flew to center before Polanco singled to load the bases. Howard lined a single to right, moving everyone up a base and scoring Blanton to cut the lead to 3-2. Ibanez popped near the catcher on the infield fly rule for the second out. Gload was next and he singled between second and third. Rollins scored easily to put tie the game at 3-3 and Polanco held up about half way between third and home. Bonifacio in left threw the ball home and way over the head of the catcher Buck. Polanco took off for home, the ball bounced back to Buck and he tossed to Vazquez covering home plate. Polanco would have been out, but Vazquez dropped the ball, Polanco was safe and the Phils led 4-3. Orr grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.
Two misplays allow Polanco to score — first the throw goes over Buck’s head and than Vazquez drops the ball. Gload’s single should have been a routine ground ball to second, but Ramirez was playing close to second base on a weird shift. Rollins again is in the middle of the scoring for the Phils.
The Phils went in order in the fourth.
Victorino led off the fifth with a triple and came in to score when Polanco followed and flew to center, extending the lead to 5-3. Howard followed that with a walk and moved to third on a single by Ibanez. Gload was next and he singled to left, scoring Howard (6-3) and moving Ibanez to second. Orr struck out swinging for the second out and Schneider grounded to second.
The Phils went in order in the sixth. Martinez hit for Blanton and flew to center for the first out of the inning.
Polanco, Howard and Ibanez went in order in the seventh.
Mayberry, who had taken over for Gload in right in the bottom of the seventh, led off the eighth with a single to center. Orr struck out swinging for the first out before Mayberry stole second. He took third on a ground out to first by Schneider, but was left there when Worley hit for himself and struck out swinging.
Worley hits for himself with two outs, a man on third and the Phils up 6-3. He had thrown 49 pitches in the game.
Victorino walked with one out in the ninth and the Phils up 6-4. Polanco flew to right for the second out on a ball that Stanton caught, then mishandled for an error that allowed Victorino to take third. Lefty Randy Choate took over for righty Brian Sanches and Choate struck out Howard to leave Mayberry at third.
Rollins was 2-for-5 with his second home run of the year.
Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk and a triple. He’s on pace to hit 20 triples.
Polanco was 1-for-4 with an RBI. He has hit 250/270/281 in 32 at-bats in May so far.
Howard was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-11 with a double and a home run.
Ibanez was 2-for-4 with two singles to raise his average on the year to .222.
Gload was 2-for-3 with two RBI. He’s hitting 364/364/364 on the year — 8-for-22 with eight singles and no walks.
Orr was 0-for-4, struck out twice and left five men on base.
Schneider was 0-for-4 and left three men on base. He’s hitting .160 after 50 at-bats for the year.
Halladay (5-1, 2.19) faces righty Josh Johnson (3-1, 1.68) tonight. Johnson has allowed 26 hits in 48 1/3 innings on the season so far this year. He’s allowed more than one earned run in just two of his seven starts. He’s coming off his only bad outing of the year — he allowed five runs in 7 1/3 innings against the Cardinals in his most recent start. Halladay has only had one start on the season in which he allowed more than two runs, earned or unearned. He’s allowed four runs in 24 2/3 innings over his last three starts, throwing to a 1.46 ERA and an 0.81 ratio while striking out 32.
This suggests that Oswalt could rejoin the rotation on May 17.
The linked article also says that the off-day this Thursday will allow the Phils to skip their fifth starter on Friday and that Utley went 1-for-7 in extended spring training action on Monday.