It’s been hot in Philadelphia for the past few days, but the Phils are pretty hot themselves. After taking the first three games of a four-game set with the Padres, the Phils have won five in a row to extend their lead in the NL East to six games over the second-place Braves.
The Phils won the series opener 3-1 on Friday. Hamels started the game and pitched very well, holding San Diego to a run on three hits and a walk over eight innings. Ruiz doubled Victorino home in the second to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. A single by Victorino, a walk by Ruiz, a balk and a double by Martinez helped the Phils score two more in the fourth to extend the lead to 3-0. In the fifth, Cameron Maybin singled, stole second and scored on a ground out to get San Diego on the board at 3-1. Mason set them down in order in the ninth for his 16th save.
The Phillies scored five run in the seventh inning to get an 8-6 win in game two. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a three-run homer by Utley, who was 3-for-3 with a pair of homers and four RBI in the game. Kendrick kept the Padres off the board until the sixth when they tied the game at 3-3 on a two-run homer by Maybin and a solo shot by Chase Headley. Logan Forsythe started the seventh with a triple and scored on a two-out single by Maybin, putting San Diego up 4-3. The Phils got five in the bottom of the seventh on a pinch-hit homer from Howard (Mayberry started the game at first), a three-run shot from Martinez and a solo blast by Utley. They led 8-4, but San Diego came back with two more in the eighth with the runs changed to Bastardo, who allowed two singles, two walks and a wild pitch in the frame before being pulled for Herndon. Madson pitched the ninth again with an 8-6 lead and again got the save. He allowed a two-out double to Ryan Ludwick off the glove of Ibanez, but struck out Kyle Blanks as the tying run to end the game.
The Phils won yesterday’s game 5-3 behind eight strong innings from Halladay.
The Phillies are 64-36 on the year after taking the first three from the Padres in the four-game set. They’re 28 games over .500 for the first time on the season and in first place in the NL East, six games ahead of the Braves. Since pulling to within 2 1/2 games of the Phils, the Braves have lost four of six.
Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Only two of the runs were earned. All eight hits he allowed were singles and he struck out eight.
Maybin was the first batter of the game and singled to center. He stole second before Will Venable struck out swinging, but came around to score when Headley singled to right, putting San Diego up 1-0. Brown’s throw home was terrible, way up the third base line, and Headley took second. Headley went to third when Ludwick flew to center for the second out and was left stranded when Halladay struck Blanks out swinging to end the frame.
Terrible throw by Brown, but it doesn’t cost the Phils this time.
Halladay pitched the second up 2-1. Alberto Gonzalez singled with two outs, but Halladay struck pitcher Tim Stauffer out swinging to leave Gonzalez stranded
Venable singled with one out in the third, but Halladay got the next two to leave him stranded.
Halladay was up 5-1 when he started the fourth. Blanks led off with a single before Forsythe struck out for the first out. Kyle Phillips was next and hit a ball to Howard, who threw it away for his fifth error of the season. It put men on first and second for Gonzalez and he singled to right, scoring Blanks (5-2) and moving Phillips to third. Stauffer got down a bunt and Phillips scored, making it 5-3, as Howard fielded and went to first for the second out. Maybin reached on an infield single that sent Gonzalez from second to third, but Venable grounded to first to leave both runners stranded.
Big error by Howard helps the Padres score an unearned run.
Blanks walked with two outs in the fifth. Forsythe followed that with a single that moved Blanks to third, with Forsythe taking second on the throw to third. Halladay struck Phillips out looking 3-2 to leave both men stranded.
Halladay didn’t allow a runner to reach base after that. He set the Padres down in order in the sixth, seventh and eighth.
Bastardo took over in the ninth after Madson got saves in the first two games of the set. Bastardo was coming off a weak outing in game two of the series in which he had allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning. He set San Diego down in order, getting Gonzalez on a fly ball to left, pinch-hitter Orlando Hudson on a fly ball to right before striking Chris Denorfia out looking 2-2 to end the game.
Eighth save on the year for Bastardo. He threw 17 pitches in the game and has thrown two days in a row.
The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Stauffer went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Ruiz catches the day game against the righty after Schneider started the night before against the righty Latos.
The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the first. Utley walked with two outs and moved to third when Howard followed with a single. Victorino was next and he singled into center, scoring Utley (1-1) and moving Howard to second. Ibanez got behind 0-2, but doubled off the wall in right. Howard scored to put the Phils up 2-1 with men on second and third. Brown flew to left to leave them there.
Ruiz walked to start the second and Halladay bunted him to second with the first out. Rollins moved him to third with a ground out before Martinez walked, putting men first and third for Utley. Utley struck out swinging to leave both men stranded.
Howard doubled to start the third and Victorino bunted him to third with the first out. Ibanez followed with a single to right that scored Howard, putting the Phils up 3-1. Brown singled to right and Ibanez took second before Ruiz cleared the bases with a double. 5-1. Halladay struck out and Rollins grounded to second to leave Brown at second.
Up 5-3, the Phils went in order in the fourth and again in the fifth.
Halladay walked on five pitches with one out in the sixth. Rollins flew to center before Martinez moved Halladay to second with a single. Lefty Josh Spence took over for Stauffer and got Utley to fly to center to leave both runners stranded.
Halladay draws a walk after getting the bunt down in the second.
Victorino walked with one out in the seventh, but Ibanez and Brown went down behind him to leave him at first. Ibanez was robbed of a two-run homer by Denorfia, blasting a ball that Denorfia went over the center field wall running hard to catch for the second out.
The Phils went in order in the eighth. Gload hit for Halladay and struck out for the second out.
Gload got a hit in game two of the set, but is now 2-for-his-last-16.
Rollins was 0-for-5 in the game. He’s 1-for-12 in the series so far.
Martinez 1-for-3 with a walk and a single. 296/350/463 in 54 at-bats in July.
Utley 0-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-10 with a double and two homers in the series so far.
Howard 2-for-4 with a double and an error. 5-for-31 (.161) since the All-Star break.
Victorino 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-9 with two weeks in the series.
Ibanez 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Denorfia took a two-run homer away from him with a fantastic catch in the seventh.
Brown 1-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s 5-for-his-last-13.
Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and two RBI. 353/459/529 in 51 at-bats in July.
Lee (9-6, 2.83) faces righty Aaron Harang (8-2, 3.29) this afternoon. Harang had a 5.05 ERA for the year after his first eight starts on the season. Over his last eight starts he’s thrown to a 1.73 ERA with a 1.17 ratio and has allowed more than two runs in a start once. Lee has been even better in his last eight starts, throwing to a 1.42 ERA with an 0.82 ratio.