Thursday, August 4, 2011

Phils sweep 2nd straight

The Phillies continue to roll. In face, they haven't lost a game since Hunter Pence has been penciled into the five hole.

The Phils completed their second consecutive sweep yesterday, taking all three from the Rockies in Colorado. A day after Kyle Kendrick left the rotation in style, by tossing eight shut-out innings, and Ryan Howard's two home runs powered them to victory, Roy Halladay was on the mound for the finale.

Doc didn't fair quite as well as Kendrick (yes, that sentence just happened. I can't believe it either). Halladay did not have his best stuff in Denver yesterday, but he grinded out his 14th victory of the season. He ended up allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits, one walk and seven strikeouts over seven innings.

The Phils' bats supported Doc in the 8-6 victory, but it didn't exactly start out that way.

Jason Hammell, who dropped to 6-11 by allowing six runs over five innings, walked the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the first. The Phils had an opportunity to give Doc a major cushion, but managed only one run. Howard stuck out, Pence knocked in a run with a sac fly and Raul Ibanez stuck out to end the frame.

Then, a strange bottom of the first allowed the Rockies to briefly capture the lead. Eric Young led-off with a bunt base hit, that actually lofted over Howard's head and dropped into shallow right field as he charged in because of the bunt attempt. After stealing second with Dexter Fowler at the plate, Fowler hit a routine grounder to first. Howard dropped the ball twice, and then flipped it over Halladay's head at first, allowing Young to score and Fowler to advance to second. Howard was correctly charged with a double error on the play, and Colorado led 2-1 after one.

It didn't last long though. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino each tacked on an RBI single in the second before Howard made up for his brutal start with a two-run double to center. Howard later homered in the sixth and finished 2-for-4 with a walk and four RBI. The Phils would never trail again after the second, but Colorado battled and hung around the entire game.

Brad Lidge came on in the ninth and picked up his first save of the season, and 100th with the Phils, in a flawless inning.

The Phils head to San Francisco looking for some revenge from the team that knocked them out of last year's playoffs and ended their series winning streak at nine just last week. Here's a look at the probables:

Tonight: Cliff Lee (10-7, 3.14) vs. Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.80)

Friday: Vance Worley (7-1, 2.33) vs. Jonathan Sanchez (4-5, 3.81)

Saturday: Cole Hamels (12-6, 2.62) vs. Matt Cain (9-7, 3.10)

Sunday: Roy Oswalt (4-6, 3.79) vs. Tim Lincecum (9-9, 2.77)

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