Getting closer to first place.
For the second time this season, the Phillies have won three games in a row and have won six of their last seven as they defeated the Pirates in Pittsburgh, 8-4. The Phils opened the game by scoring five runs in the first inning, with two of those run coming in on a two-run homer by Ryan Howard, who is now back in the line-up, his fifth homer of the season, with two more runs coming in via Pirates fielding errors, while a single from Eric Bruntlett knocked in the fifth. They increased their lead to 6-0 when Geoff Jenkins knocked in Chase Utley with a single. Two more runs would later cross the plate in the sixth as Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz knocked in runs with back to back doubles. By then, the score was 6-2, as the eventual winning pitcher, Kyle Kendrick, have given up an RBI single to Nate McLouth and an RBI double to Freddy Sanchez in the Pirates’ third. He would later give up two more runs, one on an RBI ground out by Brian Bixler in the seventh and the last one as a solo home run to McLouth in the Pirates’ eighth, his fourth of the year. After he gave up a follow up single to Sanchez, Kendrick was replaced by Rudy Seanez who ended the inning with no further damage. Ryan Madson would then come in and pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, ending the game.
The victory raises Kendrick’s record to 2-2 with a 5.13 ERA as he pitched seven innings plus two hitters, giving up four runs, three of which were earned. The losing pitcher is Mike Morris whose record is now 0-4, while his record against the Phillies is now 5-4. He gave up six runs in 1 and 2/3 innings with his ERA rising to 9.67
The Phils, whose record is now 14-11, are still in second place, now only a 0.5 games behind the Marlins, as the fish lost to the Brew Crew. A win by them and a lost by Florida tomorrow afternoon would put the Phils in first place with a 0.5 games lead over the fish. Now wouldn’t that be nice? :)
Anyway, the Phillies starter for tomorrow afternoon’s game (1:35 PM eastern) will be Brett Myers (2.1, 4.78 ERA), who will try to end the team’s very successful road trip with a victory while Pittsburgh’s Paul Maholm (1-2, 4.22 ERA) will be on the mound trying to keep the Bucos from being swept by the Fightin’s.