The Phils gets off to a bad start as they lose a close one to the Pirates, 3-2.

The Phils starts off their four-games set with the Bucos on a bad note as they lose a close one to the Pirates, 3-2.

The Pirates took the lead in the second as, with two men on base, and with one man out, Bobby Crosby hits an RBI single, scoring Lastings Milledge, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on Ryan Doumit’s walk, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead, while sending Doumit, who had just walked, on to third. The Phils tied it up at one-all in the third as Wilson Valdez hits a lead-off home run, his fourth home run of the season. The Pirates regain the lead in their half of the third as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Pedro Alvarez hits an RBI double, scoring Jose Tabata, who had just walked, to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. The Pirates then added to their lead in the fourth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Tabata hits an RBI single, knocking in Andy LaRoche, who had earlier singled, and then went to second base on Daniel McCutchen’s sacrifice bunt, 2-4, making it a 4-1 Pirates’ lead. The Phils cut down the Pirates’ lead in the fifth as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled and then stole second base, scores on a LaRoche’s throwing error of Greg Dobbs’ infield single, beating the throw to the plate, making it a 3-2 Pirates’ lead. But that would end up being the final score as the Phils would be unable to mound up any offense for the rest of the game, before Victorino ended it in the ninth as, with a man on third, Dane Sardinha, who had come into the game earlier to replace Brian Schneider, who was taken out after his thumb got hit by a foul tip, and in the inning had singled, moved up to second on Valdez’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, then went to third on pinch hitter Ross Gload’s ground out, 4-3, and with two outs, he struck out looking for the final out.

Cole Hamels took the lost, being hurt early by walks, as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out eight. His record is now 6-7 with an ERA of 4.07. Jose Contreras pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Daniel McCutchen gets the win as he pitches five and a third inning, giving up two runs, one of which was earned, on six hits, while he strikes out four. His record is now 1-3 with an 8.87 ERA. Javier Lopez receives his fourth hold as he pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. D.J. Carrasco also picks up his fourth hold as he also pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Evan Meek collects his fifth hold as he pitches two scoreless inning, as he gives up only one hit and one walk, while striking out a batter. Octavio Dotel gets his seventeenth save of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Greg Dobbs leading the team with two hits, both singles. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Wilson Valdez, Dane Sardinha and Cole Hamels had the other six Phils’ hits, with Victorino, Howard, Sardinha and Hamel’s hits being singles, Rollins’ hit being a double and Valdez’s hit being a solo home run, knocking in the Phils’ only RBI. An error allowed the other Phil run to score. The top part of the Phil’s batting order is once again being its own worst enemy, trying a bit too hard to make things happen, while major parts of the machine are still on the disabled list. Come on guys, just calm down, and try to relax. Else, you’re going to end up looking at the Washington Nationals’ rear end. That’s right, I went there!!!

The Phils (41-36, 3rd NL East) continue their four-game series with the Pirates (28-51, 6th NL Central) with a night game. The game will be played at PNC Park and will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (9-6, 4.30), who is coming off a win against the Blue Jays on June 27, as he went seven innings, giving up just two runs on six hits, as he strikes out seven, in the Phils’ 11-2 rout. In his last three starts, he is 3-0, pitching twenty-three innings, giving up just five runs (all on home runs) and two walks, while striking out seventeen. He will go for both his fourth win in a row and his fourth straight quality start since getting shell at Boston for nine runs in one plus innings of work on June 11. Against the Pirates he is 2-1 with an ERA of 4.30. The Pirates will counter with Ross Ohlendorf (0-6, 4.90), who is coming off a no-decision against the A’s on June 27, as he went six innings, giving up two unearned runs on two hits and four walks, while striking out three, in the Pirates’ 3-2 lost. In his last three starts, he is 0-2 with a no-decision, as he pitched seventeen innings, giving up eleven runs, nine of which were earned, on sixteen hits and two walks, while striking out eight. He is 0-0 against the Phils with a 3.75 ERA. He will be looking for his first win of the season. The Phils’ offense will be trying to overcome the loss of both Chase Utley, who will be out for at least eight weeks, as he had his thumb operated on yesterday, and Placido Polanco, who may not be back until after the All-Star break, as they continue to play the lowly Pirates. Come on, guys, concentrate. This is no time for the June Swoon to became a July Funk.

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