Joe Blanton pitched a gem as the Phils continue to show that they can win at home, as they defeat the Pirates, 3-2.

Joe Blanton pitched a seven and a third innings gem, giving up only one run on four hits, as the Phils defeated the Pirates, 3-2. Their lead in the East increased to three games as the Marlins lose to the Diamondbacks.

The Pirates took the lead in the first as, with two men out, Garrett Jones hits a solo home run, his third home run of the season, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead. The Phillies tied the game at one-all in the third as, with one man on base and two men out, Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, scored on a Chase Utley single and a fielding error by Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, while Utley, who had singled, moved to third on the late throw to the plate. Two batters later, now with two men on as Ryan Howard had walked, Jayson Werth hits a two-run double, knocking in both Utley and Howard, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. After that it was all Joe Blanton as he would shut down the Pirates for a total of seven and one-third innings, giving up only four hits and a walk, while he struck out six batters. In the meantime, Pirates’ starter, Zach Duke, despite giving up three runs, kept the Phils off-balanced all night, pitching eight full innings, giving up only five hits and three walks. In the ninth, the Pirates would make it a closer game when, with two men out, Brandon Moss hits a solo home run, his third home run of the year, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead. After Brad Lidge gave up a single to Jack Wilson, he ended the game by getting pinch hitter Delwyn Young to strike out, swinging, recording his eighteenth save of the season.

Joe Blanton pitched a gem as he won the game, going seven and a third innings, giving up only one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out six. His record is now 6-4 with a 4.44 ERA. J.C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning as he recorded his fifth hold. Brad Lidge recorded his eighteenth save as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out two. Zach Duke took the lost as he pitched all eight innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while he struck out six. His record is now 8-8 with a 3.29 ERA.

The Phils had only five hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the way with three hits, with one of them being a double, as he scored a run while increasing his batting average to .314. Chase Utley and Jayson Werth had the other two Phils’ hits, with Werth’s hit being a double, recording the only two RBIs recorded by the Phils last night. Although they got very few hits last night, the hits that the Phils did get help lead to the win.

The Phillies (46-38, 1st National League East) continue their three-games series with the Pirates (38-48, 5th National League Central). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (5-5, 4.70), who is coming off a pitching gem of his own as he pitched seven strong innings against the Reds on July 6, giving up only a run on three hits, while striking out two, in the Phillies’ 22-1 rout. He will be trying for his sixth win of the season, with his pitching mechanics worked out thanks to the rout. The Pirates will counter with Ross Ohlendorf (7-7, 4.63), who is coming off a lost against the Marlins on July 5, as he gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Pirates’ 5-0 lost. He will be trying for his eighth win of the season, while trying to stop the Pirates’ present two-game slide. The Phils hope to continue their winning ways in the present home stand, while increasing their lead in the East before going into the All-Star break.

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