Howardless for at least two weeks, Carlos Ruiz takes up the slack as the Phils defeat the Marlins, 6-1.

Without the services of their big piece, Ryan Howard, for at least two weeks, Carlos Ruiz takes up the slack for at least one night as the Phils, behind Ruiz’s bat and Roy Halladay’s pitching, defeat the fish, 6-1, cutting the Braves lead in the NL East to two games.

The Phils took the lead in the second as Ben Francisco hits a lead-off home run, his fourth home run of the year, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. One pitch later, Carlos Ruiz gave the Phils a 2-0 lead as he hits a solo home run of his own, his fourth home run of the season. In the bottom of the second, the Marlins cut the Phils’ lead in half as Dan Uggla hits a lead-off home run of his own, his twenty-fourth home run of the season, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils increased their lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Francisco, a double by Ruiz, sending Francisco to third base, and an intentional walk to Wilson Valdez, and with two men out, Roy Halladay hits a two-run single down the third base line, knocking in both Francisco and Ruiz, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead, while sending Valdez to second base. The Phils then made it a 5-1 lead in the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Uggla’s force attempt error on a Placido Polanco grounder, while Polanco, who was safe at first on Uggla’s fielding error, would move up to second base. In the seventh, the Phils added to their lead as, with the bases loaded again, via singles to Polanco and Francisco, with both men moving up a base on Ruiz’s ground out, 4-3, and an intentional walk to pinch hitter Ross Gload, and with two men out, Wilson Valdez hits an infield single, scoring Polanco from third, to give the Phils a 6-1 lead, while moving both Francisco and Gload up a base. That would be the final score as Chad Durbin pitches two scoreless inning, striking out Donnie Murphy for the final out.

Roy Halladay gets the win as he pitches seven strong innings, giving up just one run on five hits and a walk, while he struck out nine. His record is now 13-8 with a 2.17 ERA. Chad Durbin threw two scoreless innings, giving up just three hits, while striking out four. Sean West took the lost as he pitches five innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on nine hits and a walk, while striking out four. His record is now 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA. Burke Badenhop pitches two innings, giving up a run on three hits and two walks, while striking out two. Brian Sanches and Jose Veras combine for two scoreless innings, giving one hit (Veras) and a walk (Sanches), while striking out two (one batter each).

The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team as he went four for five, being a triple short of the cycle, as he had two singles, a double and a solo home run, knocking in two runs, as he raised his average to .294. Ben Francisco followed with three hits, two singles and a solo home run, knocking in a run. Wilson Valdez was next with two singles, knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Raul Ibanez and Roy Halladay had the other four Phils’ hits, with Rollins’ hit being a double, while Polanco, Ibaanez and Halladay’s hits were all singles, with Halladay knocking in two runs.The Phils’ offense took the lost of Ryan Howard by going on an offensive display, with Ruiz leading the charge. The question is will they be able to continue it tonight.

The Phils (58-48, 2nd) will continue their three-game series with the Marlins (53-53, 4th) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Sun Life Stadium and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 4.44), who is coming off a no-decision against the D-backs on July 29, as he pitched six and a third innings, giving up a run on four hits and three walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 3-2 extra-innings win. In his last three starts, he is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he had pitched nineteen and one-thirds innings, giving up nine runs on seventeen hits and seven walks, while striking out ten batters. He will be trying to for his third straight strong outing after coming back from Lehigh Valley. The Marlins will counter with Anibal Sanchez (8-6, 3.33), who is coming off a complete game win against the Giants on July 29, as he gave up just one hit and a walk, while striking out eight, in the Marlins’ 5-0 win. In his last three starts, he is 1-0 with two no-decisions, as he pitched twenty-one innings, giving up four runs on fourteen hits and six walks, while striking out nineteen. He will be trying to even up the series. The Phils will be trying to win their first series on the road since they’d took two of three from the Yankees back in June, and get closer to the Braves in the race for the East.

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