Raul Ibanez celebrated the halfway point of what’s been a miserable season for him by driving in all the Phillie runs last night. Ibanez knocked Victorino in from second with a single early and broke a 1-1 tie with a solo homer in the seventh as the Phils topped Boston 2-1.
Vance Worley handled the pitching for the Phils, with a big assist to the new back of the bullpen. Worley went seven strong frames before the Phils got a perfect eighth from Stutes and a perfect ninth from Bastardo.
The Phillies are 4-1 in their last five and have allowed a total of six runs in those five games. Four of those runs were allowed in Saturday’s game against Oakland. In eight of their last ten games they have allowed less than three runs.
The Phillies are 51-30 on the year after beating the Boston Red Sox 2-1 last night. They still haven’t buried the Braves, who keep on winning as well. Atlanta is 8-2 in their last ten and remain 4 1/2 games behind the Phils in second place in the NL East. The Mets are in third place, two games over .500 and 9 1/2 games behind the Phillies.
Worley got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.57. The Phils are now 5-2 in the games Worley has started for the year — that’s a better winning percentage than they have with any other starter except Halladay (14-3 in Halladay’s starts).
Worley set Boston down in order in the first. He knocked Dustin Pedroia down before striking him out on a pitch on the outside part of the plate for the second out.
Pitching with a 1-0 lead, he struck out David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in a 1-2-3 second.
Josh Reddick started the third with a single to left, but Worley got the next three behind him to leave Reddick at first. Pitcher John Lackey tried to bunt him to second with the second out, but got behind 0-2 and struck out looking.
Pedroia started the fourth with a single, but Worley got Adrian Gonzalez to hit into a double-play behind him. Worley walked Kevin Youkilis in an eleven-pitch at-bat, but got Ortiz on a fly ball to right to leave Youkilis at first.
Reddick singled again with one out in the fifth. Worley got Marco Scutaro to fly to center for the second out. He got ahead of Lackey 0-2, but Lackey doubled to left-center on a 3-2 pitch, scoring Scutaro to tie the game at 1-1. Jacoby Ellsbury flew to center to leave Lackey at second.
Lackey came into the game 3-for-35 (.086) at the plate for his career. He smashed that ball, though.
Gonzalez singled to center with one out in the sixth. Youkilis was next and hit a ground ball to third, which Polanco fielded and went to second with to force Gonzalez for the second out. Ortiz flew to left to end the frame.
Worley walked Salty to start the seventh, but got the next three hitters behind him. With two outs and Reddick on first, Lackey hit for himself and grounded to third for the third out.
Stutes pitched the eighth with the Phils up 2-1 and set Boston down in order. He got Ellsbury on a fly ball to right, Pedroia on popup that Polanco handled in foul territory and Gonzalez on a ground ball to second.
Golly. Stutes bounces back nicely against some good hitters after being charged with a pair of runs in an inning against the A’s in his last time out on Saturday.
Bastardo came on for the save in the ninth. Youkilis led off with a popup into shallow right-center, which turned into an adventure with Brown and Victorino both playing very deep. Utley handled it for the first out, though. Ortiz popped to Rollins in shallow left for the second out and Salty fouled out to Polanco to end the game.
For Bastardo it was his 13th straight appearance in which he was not charged with a run. In those outings he’s thrown 11 innings, allowing one hit and five walks.
Stutes threw 12 pitches and Bastardo ten. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row.
The Phillies lineup against righty John Lackey went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Schneider. The Phils play a day game against a lefty today. The lefty Schneider hits against the righty in this game and Ruiz, I assume, will start today against the lefty.
Polanco and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the first, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard hit into a double-play to turn the Phils away.
Eighth double-play that Howard has hit into for the season. Last year he hit into a career-high 14.
Victorino led off the second with a double the opposite way into left and came in to score when Ibanez followed with a single, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ibanez stole second as Brown struck out looking for the first out. Schneider fouled out to Youkilis at third for the second out and Worley grounded to third to leave Ibanez stranded.
The Phils went in order in the third.
Ibanez doubled with two outs in the fourth, but was left stranded at second when Brown grounded to first.
The game was tied at 1-1 when the Phils went in order in the fifth.
Utley walked with one out in the sixth and stole second. Howard struck out for the second out and Victorino grounded to second.
Ibanez led off the seventh and hit an 0-1 pitch from Lackey out to right, putting the Phils up 2-1. Brown and Schneider went down behind him before Ruiz hit for Worley and flew to center to end the inning.
Rollins started the eighth with a single, but Polanco hit into a double-play behind him. Utley hit Lackey’s first pitch high off the wall in right for a triple. Lefty Franklin Morales took over for Lackey and got Howard on a fly ball to center to leave Utley at third.
Fourth man left on base in the game for Howard.
Rollins was 1-for-4 with a strikeout in the game. He’s 1-for-7 in the series so far.
Polanco 1-for-4. He’s 4-for-his-last-15.
Utley 2-for-3 with a walk and a triple. Third triple for Utley in the season in just 136 plate appearances. His career high is six, but that came in 2005 when he got 628 plate appearances.
Howard 0-for-4, struck out twice and left four men on base. He’s 1-for-his-last-16.
Victorino 1-for-3 with a double. His .508 slugging percentage leads the team. The Phillies only have four players slugging .400 or better for the year — Howard at .476, Utley .456 and Brown .411. Their .375 slugging percentage for the team is tenth-best in the NL.
Ibanez 3-for-3 with a double, a home run and drove in both of the runs that the Phillies scored. First home run in June for Ibanez.
Brown was 0-for-3 and struck out twice, dropping his line on the year to 214/294/411.
Schneider 0-for-3 in his second start since returning from the DL. He’s gone 0-for-7 in those games and is hitting 153/194/288 for the season.
Cole Hamels (9-4, 2.49) faces lefty Jon Lester (9-4, 3.66) this afternoon. Lester has thrown to a 2.45 ERA over his last three starts. He’s been tough on lefties, who are hitting 218/277/299 against him, but righties have fared better with a 255/342/437 line. Hamels has a 2.06 ERA in his last 15 outings.
This says that Lidge could start a rehab assignment at Double-A or Triple-A next week.