Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 18: The bats continue to hit as they support Joe Blanton, as the Phils pound the fish, 11-4.

The offense gave Joe Blanton massive runs support, including four bombs, as they pounded the Marlins, 11-4, staying a game ahead of the Braves in the NL East.

The Phils took the lead in the second as, with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a solo home run, his twenty-first home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils made it a 2-0 lead in the third as, with two men out, Chase Utley hits a solo home run, his fourteenth home run of the season. The Phils then increased their lead in the fourth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Carlos Ruiz hits a two-run home run, his seventh home run of the year, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 4-0 lead. The Phils then made it 6-0 in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Werth hits an RBI single, scoring Utley, who had earlier walked, and then stole second, as Logan Morrison made a missed catch error on the ball, before allowing Ryan Howard, who had just walked, to score on a throwing error to the plate, allowing Werth to move up to second base. Two batters later, with a runner still on second, and now with two men out, Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Werth, to give the Phils a 7-0 lead. The Phils made it 8-0 in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Joe Blanton, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Shane Victorino’s single, while sending Victorino up to second base. Two batters later, with one man out, the Phils took a 9-0 lead as Howard hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, while sending Polanco up to second base, before going to third on the late throw to the plate. Then with the bases loaded, as Ibanez is walked, moving Howard up to second base, Ruiz received an RBI walk, forcing in Polanco, making it a 10-0 Phils’ lead, while moving both Howard and Ibanez up a base. Meanwhile, Blanton was setting down the Marlins in the first five innings, giving up only two hits and two walks, while striking out seven. The Marlins then scored in their half of the sixth as Morrison hits a solo home run, his second home run of the season, making it a 10-1 Phils’ lead. The Marlins then tried to add another run, as they got two men on, via a Dan Uggla fielder’s choice grounder, as Hanley Ramirez, who had just doubled, was caught off second base by shortstop Wilson Valdez, and then put into a run down, before finally being tagged out, 6-5-4, at second base, keeping Uggla at first, and a single by Gaby Sanchez, sending Uggla up to second base. But Blanton got out of the inning by getting Mike Stanton to fly out to right for the inning’s second out, and then by striking out Chad Tracy. The Phils would get the run back in the seventh as pinch hitter Greg Dobbs hits a lead-off pinch hit home run, his fifth home run of the year, giving the Phils an 11-1 lead. The Marlins tried once again to come back as, with one man on, and with one man out, Uggla hits a two-run home run, his thirtieth home run of the season, knocking in Morrison, who had earlier been hit by the pitch, making it an 11-3 Phils’ lead. Three batters later, with a runner on second, and now with two men out, Tracy hits an RBI double, knocking in Stanton, who had earlier doubled, making it an 11-4 Phils’ lead. But, the Phils would finally get out of the inning as David Herndon would get Brad Davis to ground out, 5-3. Danys Baez then came in and pitched a scoreless ninth, getting Ramirez to end the game by grounding out, 5-3. 

Joe Blanton gets the win as he pitches six strong innings, giving up just a run on five hits and two walks, while he strikes out eight. His record is now 7-6 with a 5.00 ERA. Jose Contreras pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. David Herndon pitches an inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a hit batter, while striking out a batter. Danys Baez pitches a scoreless inning, walking a batter. Andrew Miller took the lost as he pitches five innings, giving up seven runs, five of which were earned, on nine hits and three walks, while striking out five. His record is now 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA. Jay Buente pitches an inning, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks. Jose Ceda pitches an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jorge Sosa pitches two scoreless innings, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had fifteen hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team with three hits, with two singles and a two-run home run, knocking in four runs, one via a bases loaded walk, raising his batting average to .300. Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Wilson Valdez all followed with two hits apiece, with Victorino’s hits being two singles, Werth’s hits being a single and a solo home run, knocking in two runs, and Valdez’s hits being a single and a double. Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Joe Blanton, pinch hitter Greg Dobbs and pinch hitter Ben Francisco had the other six Phils’ hits, with Polanco, Howard, Blanton and Francisco’s hits being singles, with Polanco and Howard both knocking in a run, Utley’s hits being a solo home run, and Dobbs’ hit being a pinch hit home run. The other Phil’s run came in on an error. The offense continues to explode, while Blanton has added to the team’s recent good starting performances.

The Phils (84-61, 1st) continue their three-game series with the Marlins (73-70, 3rd) 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 Cole Hamels (10-10, 3.06), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on September 8, as he pitched seven strong shut out innings, giving up just four hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 10-6 win. In his last three starts, his record is 3-0, as he had pitched twenty-two scoreless innings, giving up only eleven hits and four walks, while striking out eighteen. He will be going for his fourth straight win and his fifth straight quality start, while trying to extend his scoreless streak past twenty-five innings. He will be opposed by Adalberto Mendez (1-0, 0.00), who is coming off a win against the Phils on September 6, as he pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just a hit, while walking two and striking out six, in the Marlins’ 7-1 win. He will be hoping that the Phils will not have figured him out yet. The Phils will be going for their third straight win, while planning to take the rookie to the cleaners, while hoping to increase their lead over the Braves as they continue their series with the Nationals in Atlanta.

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