Friday, May 27, 2011

Phils take series with 10-4 victory

It wasn't easy, but the Phillies took three out of four from the Cincinnati Reds this week. It took a 19 inning affair in which Wilson Valdez pitched a scoreless inning to pick-up the victory (I was in attendance; rough day at work yesterday), and a rally on an extremely hot day yesterday after blowing a lead.

The Phils (31-19) remain just one game in front of the Florida Marlins who just keep winning. The scuffling Reds fell to third place in the Central, four games behind the front-running Cardinals.

Already leading 1-0 in the third yesterday, Raul Ibanez continued to swing a hot stick, blasting a three-shot shot to put the Phils in front 4-0. With Cliff Lee on the mound, the game seemed over. Cincinnati had just suffered that marathon loss, and were trailing Lee on an extremely hot and a getaway day. Most teams would have thrown in the towel. The Reds decided to rally.

A Paul Janish two-run single in the fourth closed the gap to two, and the red hot Jay Bruce's two-run homer in the sixth tied it.

The Phils came right back in the sixth with an answer of their own. The bottom of the lineup worked the bases loaded with no out for Lee. He stepped to the plate and smoked the first pitch he saw to deep center-field, which went for a two-run ground-rule double.

They took a 7-4 lead that inning and would eventually take the game 10-4. Lee added an RBI single in the seventh, and Chase Utley hit his first home run of the year in the eighth.

Every regular had at least one hit, and Lee ended up striking out eight over eight solid innings. Jose Contreras made his return from the DL to pitch a one-two-three ninth with one strikeout.

It's the second time this series the Phillies scored double digit runs.

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