Things looked bad early for the Phils last night, but Cliff Lee made it through a shaky start to his start and Michael Martinez delivered another big hit. Down 2-0, Utley doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the eighth. The Phils rallied for two more in the ninth, getting two-out singles from Francisco and Rollins before Martinez cleared the bases with a two-out double.
For Martinez it was his second huge offense game in the last three the Phils have played. He’s hitting 297/357/459 in 37 at-bats in July. In the five games since the All-Star break, he’s driven in more runs than Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Brown and Ruiz combined. The day before the All-Star break, he went 4-for-5 against the Braves.
The Phillies are 60-36 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 4-2 last night. They lead the NL East, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.
Lee got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
Reed Johnson led off the bottom of the first and doubled to right on a 3-2 pitch. Starlin Castro was next and he hit Lee’s first pitch out to left, putting the Cubs up 2-0. Aramis Ramirez was next he doubled to center. Jeff Baker lined to short for the first out before Marlon Byrd hit a ball hard towards third that Martinez snared. Martinez went for first for the second out with Ramirez holding second. Lee struck Alfonso Soriano out looking 1-2 to end the inning with Ramirez at second.
Not a great start for Lee. First three batters he faces deliver extra-base hits, followed by a line drive out and a ball hit hard to third.
Carlos Pena started the second with a double and moved to third when Geovany Soto followed with a single. The pitcher Matt Garza tried to bunt Soto to second but couldn’t and struck out for the first out. Lee struck Johnson and Castro out back-to-back to leave runners on the corners.
Lee threw a 1-2-3 third and a 1-2-3 fourth.
Johnson doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Castro was next and he hit a ball that was deflected by Rollins and went into left for a single that moved Johnson to third. Lee got Ramirez on a popup to short and struck out Baker to keep the Cubs from extending their lead.
No run for Chicago after putting men on first and third with one out.
Carlos Pena singled to right with two outs in the sixth. Lee got Soto on a ground ball to third to leave him at first.
Stutes took over for Lee in the seventh. Johnson singled to left with one out and Castro flew to right behind him for the second. Ramirez moved Johnson to second with a single into center and lefty Blake DeWitt hit for the righty Baker. Stutes got DeWitt on a fly ball to center to leave both runners stranded.
Stutes was back to pitch the eighth with the score tied at 2-2. He got the first two batters before getting behind the lefty Pena 2-0. Pena was walked intentionally and Stutes struck Soto out to leave him at first.
Not a fan of walking Pena or much of anyone with two outs and nobody on base.
Bastardo started the ninth with a 4-2 lead. Lefty Kosuke Fukudome hit for the pitcher Sean Marshall and the lefty Bastardo struck him out swinging 3-2 for the first out. Johnson struck out swinging 0-2 for the second. Castro fouled off fives pitches before striking out looking 1-2 to end the game.
Three scoreless innings for the pen. Stutes threw 37 pitches in the game, Bastardo 18. Neither of them have thrown more than one day in a row.
The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Victorino returns to the lineup and Mayberry goes back to the bench. Martinez continues to play third and hit second for Polanco. Second is too high for Martinez.
The Phils went in order in the first.
Ibanez and Brown walked back-to-back with two outs in the second and the Phils down 2-0. Ruiz grounded to second to end the frame.
The Phils went in order in the third and again in the fourth.
Brown doubled to left with one out in the fifth, but was left stranded at second when Ruiz fouled out to Pena and Lee struck out swinging.
Martinez walked with one out in the sixth, stole second and took third on a throwing error by Soto. Utley struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Howard struck out swinging 3-2 to leave Martinez at third.
Utley and Howard can’t put the ball in play against the righty Garza and the Phils don’t score with one out and a man on third. Martinez turned out to be the hero in the ninth, but did his best to make a run for the Phils out of almost nothing in the sixth.
Brown singled to center with two outs in the seventh and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a single to right. With the righty Garza still pitching for Chicago, Gload hit for Lee and flew to center to leave both men stranded.
Gload is 1-for-his-last-14.
Rollins led off the eighth and singled to right off of Garza. Lefty Sean Marshall took over for Garza and Martinez singled softly to center, moving Rollins to second. Utley was next he hammered a 1-1 pitch to the gap in left-center. The ball landed on the track and bounced off the wall. Both runners scored and the game was tied at 2-2 with nobody out and Utley on second. Utley stole third as Howard struck out swinging for the first out. Victorino was next and chopped a ball to short. Castro fielded and threw home, where Soto tagged out a sliding Utley on a close play for the second out. Ibanez struck out swinging to leave Victorino at first.
Third strikeout of the game for Howard.
With the lefty Marshall on the mound, Mayberry hit for brown and grounded to short to start the eighth. Ruiz struck out swinging for the second out. Francisco hit for Stutes and singled to center. Rollins was next and he reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by Ramirez at third, putting men on first and second for Martinez. Martinez flared an 0-1 pitch into right that dropped inside the line. Both runners scored, putting the Phils up 4-2. Martinez was caught be between second and third and was tagged out sliding into third for the third out.
Manuel takes Brown out of the game with the score tied, letting Mayberry hit for him against the lefty. Francisco delivers a big pinch-hit single that keeps the frame alive for Rollins to single and Martinez to double and put the Phils ahead.
Rollins was 2-for-5 with two singles. He’s 8-for-his-last-18 and hitting 365/412/492 in July.
Martinez was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a stolen base and two RBI.
Utley 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-18.
Howard 0-for-4 and struck out three times. 1-for-his-last-19.
Victorino 0-for-4 in his return to the lineup.
Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk.
Brown 2-for-2 with a double and a walk and removed for a pinch-hitter against a lefty in a tie game. He’s 2-for-his-last-12. I think the Phils should be considering both Mayberry and Francisco as potential platoon partners for Brown in right with Victorino back.
Ruiz was 1-for-4. He’s hitting 341/442/477 so far in July.
Worley (5-1, 2.15) faces righty Ryan Dempster (7-6, 4.68) this afternoon. Dempster threw to a 6.32 ERA in his first 13 starts of the year, but has gone 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA and a 1.10 ratio over his last seven outings. Worley has allowed one run or less in seven of the nine starts he has made for the Phillies this season.
This suggests that Oswalt could return in early August if things continue to go well.