A four-run first starts the ball rolling as the Phils sink the Pirates, 8-3.

A four-run first inning, helped along by several Pirates’ errors, starts the ball rolling for the Phils as they crush the Bucos, 8-3.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with a man on third, and with one man out, Hunter Pence hits a single to right, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Juan Pierre’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3, as he beat the throw to the plate, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead as, with Pence on first, and with still one man out, Carlos Ruiz hits a single to right, which would send Pence to third base, beating out right fielder Jose Tabata’s throw to third, which would allow Ruiz to move up to second base, as third baseman Pedro Alvarez throw the ball into right field for an error, which would allow Pence to score, and Ruiz to reach third base, as Tabata committed his own throwing error. The Phils then made it a 3-0 lead as Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Ruiz. The Phils then added to their lead as, with one man on, and with still only one man out, Placido Polanco hits a single to right, sending Victorino to third, before scoring on Tabata’s throwing error to third, his second error of the inning, giving the Phils a 4-0 lead, while Polanco would move up to second base. The Pirates got a run back in the third as, with one man out, Tabata hits a solo home run, his third home run of the year, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils would get that run back in their half of the third as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Polanco hits an RBI single, knocking in Ruiz, who had earlier singled, stole second base, then went to third on Victorino’s ground out, 4-3, giving the Phils a 5-1 lead.  The Pirates would cut the Phils’ lead to 5-2 as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Clint Barmes hits an RBI single, knocking in Neil Walker, who had started the inning off with a double. The Phils increased their lead in their half of the fourth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Rollins hits a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the season, and his fourth home run in five games, knocking in Mike Fontenot, who had started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on Jeff Karstens’ wild pitch, giving the Phils a 7-2 lead. The Pirates would get a run back in the fifth as, with a man on second, and with one man out, Andrew McCutchen hits an RBI single, knocking in Tabata, who had earlier reached base on Polanco’s throwing error, ending up on second base, making it a 7-3 Phils’ lead. The Phils got that run back in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Ruiz, followed by walks to Victorino and Polanco, and with nobody out, Ty Wigginton forced in a run with a walk, forcing in Ruiz, giving the Phils an 8-3 lead, while moving both Victorino and Polanco up a base, leaving the bases loaded. That would be the final score as Chad Qualls pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.

Joe Blanton (7-6, 4.87) got the win as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out eight. Jake Diekman pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Chad Qualls pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Jeff Karstens (0-2, 6.35) took the lost as he went five innings, giving up seven runs, only six of which were earned, on eleven hits and a wild pitch, while striking out four. Doug Slaten pitched two innings, giving up a run on a hit and three walks, while striking out three. Jared Hughes pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter.

The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the ballclub with three hits, all singles, raising his average back to .354. Jimmy Rollins (Double, Home Run, 2 RBIs), Hunter Pence (Singles, RBI), Placido Polanco (Singles, RBI), and Mike Fontenot (Singles) all followed with two hits each. Shane Victorino had the final Phil hit, a single, knocking in a run. Ty Wigginton had the other Phil RBI, via a walk, as the other two runs came in on a pair of Pirates’ errors. The Phils also had three walks and a stolen base (Ruiz (3)) in the ballgame.

The Phils (35-40, 4th East) will continue their series with the Pirates (38-34, 2nd Central) with a  night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and is to start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (3-4, 2.78), who is coming off a lost to the Rockies on June 21, as he pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out two, in the Phils’ 4-1 lost. He is still looking for his first win since coming off the DL. The Pirates will counter with Erik Bedard (4-7, 4.13), who is coming off a no-decision against the Twins on June 20, as he went six innings, giving up a run on four hits and two walks, while striking out seven, in the Pirates’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying for his fifth win of the season. The Phils will be trying to gain some momentum from last night’s win as they get ready to reactive Chase Utley.

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