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The Phillies (27-22) continue their trip to Houston with their second of four games against the Astros (27-22, 3rd National League Central) at Minute Maid Park. The game will start at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phillies will send to the mound Adam Eaton (0-2, 5.59), who is coming off a lost against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 17, where he went only five innings as he gave up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 lost. In his previous start against the Astros back on April 15, he would pitch six innings as he gave up three earned runs on seven hits while receiving a no-decision, in the Phils’ dramatic 4-3 come from behind win. Eaton will be looking for his first win of the year while Phillies fans wonder how much longer he’ll stay in the starting rotation. The Astros will counter with Brandon Backe (3-5, 4.58), who is coming off a win against the Texas Rangers on May 18, where he pitched six and a third innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Astros’ 5-4 victory. In his previous start against the Phils on April 17, he took the lost as he pitched only three innings as he gave up five earned runs on ten hits, in the Astros’ 10-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to get even for his earlier defeat at the hands of the Phillies’ offense.
Speaking of the offense, after being able to score only one run in the first eighteen innings of their series in Washington against the Nationals, the Phils have since then scored ninteen runs in the last eighteen innings. While some runs have come via the long ball, most of them have come via the use of small ball. Hopefully it’ll continue during the rest of their road trip. Also, Ryan Howard appears to be on a hitting tear, as he has gone six for his last ten at bats, hitting two doubles and three home runs, while knocking in six RBIs and scoring four runs. Howard is now hitting over .200 with a batting average of .207. But Howard appears to be not the only Phils on a tear as Shane Victorino has just raised his batting average to .263 as he has gotten eight hits in his last four starts, including two doubles and a home run. And Pedro Feliz in his last three starts has gone seven for thirteen with a home run, raising his average to .252. Hopefully the bats will continue to strike during their stay in Houston.
The Phillies are a game and a half behind the Marlins, who will start a three games series in Miami against the Giants. They are technically tied for second with the Braves, trailing them by .002 percentage points, as they begin a four games series at home against the presently reeling Diamonbacks. Both they and the Braves are three games ahead of the Mets, who are continuing their own road trip with a three games series with the Rockies in Denver. After Sunday’s afternoon game with the Astros, the Phils will come home to start a ten games home stand, starting with a three games series with the reigning National League Champion Colorado Rockies. The Phillies will be trying to keep pace with the Marlins and Braves while trying to stay even further ahead of the presently floundering Mets.
Pat Burrell’s pitch hit home run help lead the Phillies to victory last night over the Houston Astros, 7-5. The Astros would score first in the bottom of the first on a Lance Berkman RBI double off of Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick, scoring Miguel Tejada, who has reached base earlier on a force out, making it 1-0 Astros. The Phils would tie the game in the second on a RBI single by Carlos Ruiz, knocking in Ryan Howard who has earlier singled. The Astros would regain the lead on a sacrifice fly by Brad Ausmus, scoring Hunter Pence, who has earlier walked. The Phils would then take the lead in the top of the third, scoring three runs off of usually more effective Astros’ starter Roy Oswalt. The first Phillies run would come in on a RBI double by Howard, knocking in Shane Victorino, who has earlier walk, tying the game at two runs apiece. Pedro Feliz then singles in Chase Utley, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. Howard would then score on Geoff Jenkins’ sacrifice fly, making the score 4-2 Phils. The Phils would then increase their lead in the fifth on a Ryan Howard solo home run, his thirteenth of the season, and his third in two days, making it 5-2 Phils. But, then, in the sixth, Kendrick, who has been able to keep the Astros at bay for the last three innings, finally runs out of gas. After hitting Carlos Lee, and then giving up a single to Pence, he gives up a double to Ty Wigginton. The double would score both Lee and Pence, making it a 5-4 Phillies lead. Charlie Manuel would then come to the mound and replace Kendrick with Ryan Madson, with a runner on second and nobody out. After a sacrifice bunt by Ausmus puts Wigginton on third, Madson is replaced by J.C. Romero, to try and save the game for Kendrick. Unfortunately, Romero is not able to get the job done, as he gives up a single to pinch hitter Geoff Blum, scoring Ausmus, thus giving a no-decision to Kendrick, before he finally gets out of the inning. The Astros would replace Oswalt at the start of the seventh inning, thus leaving the game in the hands of both teams’ bullpens. With neither side scoring in the seventh, Pat Burrell would come up as a pinch hitter to start the eighth inning against Wesley Wright, who was starting his second inning of relief. On a 3-2 pitch, Burrell hits the ball out of the ballpark for a pinch hit home run, his eleventh home run of the season, giving the Phils a 6-5 lead. The Astros quickly replace Wright with Fernando Nieve. With two men on and two out, Nieve would be replaced by Tim Byrdak. Byrdak would then give up a RBI single to Utley, which scores Eric Bruntlett, who was pinch running for Jayson Werth, who has earlier reached base on a force out, increasing the Phils lead to 7-5. After Tom Gordon pitches a 1-2-3 eighth, the Phils would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to save the game in the ninth. After getting a strike out and then a ground out, Lidge would give up a single to Tejada, bringing to the plate Berkman. With one pitch, Lidge would get Berkman to fly out, thus getting his twelfth save in as many chances, as he preserves the victory.
Kyle Kendrick would get a no-decision as he pitches five innings plus three batters, giving up five earned runs on eight hits. Ryan Madson would pitch one third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit, earning a blown save. Chad Durbin would get the win for the Philles, as he pitches an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 1-1, with a 2.08 ERA. Tom Gordon would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hit. Brad Lidge would get his twelfth save of the year, as he gives up no run on one hit in one inning of work against his former club. Tom Oswalt would also get a no-decision while not pitching very effectively, as he goes six innings, giving up five earned runs on eleven hits. Wesley Wright would get the lost for Houston, as he goes an inning and one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit, Pat Burrell’s pitch hit home run. Fernando Nieve would pitch a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Tim Byrdak would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Oscar Villarreal would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit.
The Phillies (27-22) will continue their four game visit with the Astros (27-22, 3rd National League Central) with a night game at Minute Maid Park. The game will begin at 8:05 pm (7:05 pm Central). The Phils’ starter will be Adam Eaton (0-2, 5.59), who is coming off his second lost of the year at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays on May 17. In that game, he gave up four earned runs on eight hits, as he would go only five innings, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. As Eaton continues to look for his first win, he hopes to do better then he did in his previous start against the Astros, back on April 15 at Citizens Bank Park, where he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hit as he took a no-decision in the Phils’ 4-3 come from behind win. Meanwhile, Phillies fans are wondering how much longer Eaton will remain in the starting rotation. The Astros will counter with Brandon Backe (3-5, 4.58), who is coming off a win against the Texas Rangers on May 18, where he pitched six and one third innings, giving up only three earned runs on six hits, in the Astros’ 5-4 win. He hopes to improve his record, while getting even with the Phils for his earlier lost to them on April 17, where he gave up five earned runs on ten hits, while pitching only three innings, in the Astros’ 10-2 lost.
The Phils hope that their just revised offense will continue to score runs, as they continue to trail the Marlins by a game and a half, as the fish have just finished their three games sweep of the Diamondbacks. The Phillies are still in a technical tie for second place with the Braves, now trailing them by .002 percentage points as they have just finished their own four games sweep of the Mets, who are now trailing both the Braves and Phils by three games. As the Phillies continue their road trip to Houston, the Marlins will start a three games series at home against the Giants, while the Braves will stay home to face the Diamondbacks for four games and the Mets will go on to Denver to face the Rockies for three. The Phils hope to both finish their present road trip on a winning note and to stay pace with both the presently streaking Marlins and Braves.
The Phillies continues their seven games, two series, road trip, with a four games visit with the Astros in Houston, Texas. The first game of the four games set will start at 8:05 pm (7:05 pm Central) in Minute Maid Park. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.76), who was moved up a day because he had pitched only one inning in the double rain delayed, 6-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on May 18. In that one inning, he gave up no runs on no hits. His previous start was a win against the Braves on May 13, where he would pitch six innings, giving up three earned runs, all in the first inning, on six hits, in the Phils’ 5-4 win. This will be Kendrick’s second career start against the Astros, with his first one being back on April 16 at Citizen’s Bank Park, which he lost, as he went seven innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Phils’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while continuing the Phillies’ starters recent string of quality starts. His opponent will be Roy Oswalt (4-4, 5.43), who is coming off a lost to the Texas Ranger, where he went six innings and gave up six earned runs on eleven hits, in the Astros’ 6-2 lost. His previous start was on May 12, as he pitched against the Giants, winning that ballgame, as he gave up only three earned on five hits while pitching eight innings, in the Astros’ 7-3 victory. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to get his second victory of the season against the Phils, as he was the winning pitcher of the April 16 game, also going seven innings, while giving up only one earned runs on five hits.
The Phillies’ offense hope to continue what they did last night in Washington against the Nats, a combination of the long ball and small ball. They also hope that last night’s game will finally mean the return of Ryan Howard’s bat. Lastly, they hope that their starters will continue to perform the kind of quality pitching that they have just conducted in Washington, as they gave up only three earned runs in nineteen innings.
The Phillies are presently trailing the first place Marlins by a game and a half and trail the Braves by .001 percentage points. They and the Braves are presently leading the fourth place Mets by two full games. The Phils hope that they can keep pace with both the Marlins and the Braves as they play in Houston, while also hoping that either the Marlins or the Braves will lose their games tonight so that they can either get closer to first place and/or gain control of second place, respectively.
After being quiet for the last three days, the Phillies’ offense would finally come alive as the Phillies crush the Nationals in the series finale at Nationals Park, 12-2. Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz would lead the charge as they each would go 3 for 5. The Phils’ offense would hit a total of eight extra base hits, four doubles and four home runs, with Ryan Howard getting two homers, his first two home runs game of the year. Howard would also get four RBIs. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Chris Coste would each get two hits in the game, as the Phillies’ offense would have fifteen hits and bat around for one inning.
The Phils would start their scoring off in the first inning, with Ryan Howard getting a RBI double off of Nationals’ starter, and losing pitcher, Matt Chico, knocking in Shane Victorino, who has earlier doubled, giving the Phils a quick 1-0 lead. The Phils would make it 2-0 in the second as Pedro Feliz hit a solo home run, his seventh home run of the season. The Phillies would increase their lead to 4-0 in the fifth, on a pair of solo home runs by Victorino, hitting his second home run of the year, and Howard, hitting his eleventh. The Phils would then bust the game wide open in the sixth. The inning would start with Jesus Colome, who was relieving Chico, striking out Jayson Werth. Feliz and Chris Coste would then get on base with a pair of singles, and after they both moved up a base after a Colome’s wild pitch, Jamie Moyer would walk, loading the bases. Jimmy Rollins then hits a RBI single, scoring Feliz, making it 5-0 Phils, as the bases remain loaded. Victorino would then hit a RBI single to right, knocking in Coste, Moyer and Rollins, giving the Phils a 8-0 lead, while he goes to third base on Dmitri Young’s catching error. Chase Utley would then hit a double, scoring Victorino, increasing the Phillies lead to 9-0. That would be it for Colome, as the Nationals would replace him with Chris schroder. Howard would immediately greet Schroder with a first pitch home run to right center field, his twelfth home run of the year, knocking in Utley, giving the Phils a 11-0 lead. After Pat Burrell flies out to right for the second out of the inning, Werth would come up for the second time in the inning, this time getting on base with a walk. Feliz would then follow with a single, his third hit of the night, moving Werth up to second base. Coste would then follow Feliz with his second single of the inning, scoring Werth to make it 12-0 Phils, while moving Feliz up to third. Moyer would finally end the inning by striking out. In the inning, the Phils would send thirteen men to the plate, scoring eight runs, their most runs for the year since April 3, when they scored six runs, also coming against the Nationals. Meanwhile, as the Phils’ bats were erupting, Jamie Moyer was keeping the Nationals off the scoreboard, as he pitched himself out of several jams during the six innings that he pitched. He would be relieved by Clay Condrey in the seventh, who, with two outs and runners on second and thrid, would give up a RBI single to Ryan Zimmerman, on a ball which glances off his glove, scoring Rob Mackowiak, who has earlier singled, and moving Felipe Lopez, who has earlier doubled, to third. Lopez would then score on a RBI single by Young. Condrey would finally get out of the inning, and then pitch the eighth and ninth innings, giving up only one more hit to the Nats, as he records his first save of the year, as the Phils win 12-2.
Jamie Moyer would get the win, going six innings, as he gives up no runs on seven hits. His record is now 4-3 as his ERA drops to 4.37. Clay Condrey gets the save as he goes three innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. Matt Chico would take the lost for the Nationals, going five innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits. His record drops to 0-6 while his ERA rises to 6.19. Jesus Colome would go only one third of an inning, giving up six earned runs on five hits. Chris Schroder would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Joel Hanrahan would pitch the last two and two-thirds innings for the Nationals, giving up no runs on no hits.
The Phillies (26-22), will now go to Houston to meet the Astros (27-21, 3rd National League Central) to start a four game series in Minute Maid Park. The first game of the four game set will start tonight at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phillies will start Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.76), moving him up a day after having pitch only one inning on May 18 against the Toronto Blue Jays because of the two plus hours rain delay. In that inning, he gave up no hits or runs. His previous outing was a victory against the Braves on May 13, where he pitched six innings, giving up only three earned runs, all given up in the first inning, on six hits, in the Phils’ 5-4 win. He hopes to better his record while continuing to lower his ERA. The Astros will send Roy Oswalt (4-4, 5.43) to the mound, who is coming off a lost to the Texas Rangers on May 17, where he went six innings, giving up six earned runs on eleven hits, in the Astros’ 6-2 lost. His previous outing was a win over the Giants on May 12, where he had gone eight innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Astros’ 7-3 win. He hopes to beat the Phils for the second time this season, after having defeated the Figthin’s back on April 16, where he went seven innings, giving up one earned run on five hits, in the Astros’ 2-1 victory over the Phils, which was also Kendrick only career start against the Astros, as he gave up only two earned runs on four hits while also pitching seven innings. Hopefully, while they’re in Houston, the bats will stay awake in the Texas heat.
With the win, the Phillies remain technically tied for second place with the Braves, a game and a half behind the Marlins, who won their game last night with the Diamondbacks. The Phillies are .001 percentage points behind the Braves, who defeated the New York Mets last night, putting both them and the Phils two games ahead of the New Yorkers. As the Phils head for Houston, the Marlins will end their series with the Diamondbacks, while the Mets and Braves will finish their series in Atlanta.