Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Phils take opener from Braves, 4-2

The Phils extended their winning streak over Atlanta to eight last night, with a clutch 4-2 victory.

Tied at two in the top of the eighth, John Mayberry Jr. came up large with a one-out, pinch-hit double. Jimmy Rollins' single moved Mayberry Jr. to third, and he came home on a wild pitch with Placido Polanco at the dish. Hunter Pence but them up 4-2, with a ground-ball base hit through the hole vacated by Dan Uggla as he covered second base on the hit-and-run play. This came off Atlanta's
all-star reliever Jonny Venters, who'd entered the game 2-0 without allowing a run all season.

Chad Qualls struggled for a second straight game, allowing two hits and a walk but ultimately striking out Juan Francisco to end the threat.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a first ninth, fanning Michael Bourn to end the game and give Pap his ninth save in an many chances.

Both starting pitchers were good, but Cole Hamels was unable to hold a 2-0 lead and he and Brandon Beachy both picked up a no decision. Hamels allowed two run on six hits, two walks and six strikeouts over six innings. Beach allowed two runs on five hits, no walks and two strikeouts over seven.

The Phils had jumped ahead 2-0 in the fourth on a two-run single from Ty Wigginton.

Atlanta got one right back in the bottom of the fourth, on Brian McCann's fourth homer of the year. The Braves tied it in the sixth on Francisco's sacrifice fly.

Washington and New York both lost, moving the Phils 2.5 games behind the front running Nationals, 2 games behind Atlanta and 1 game behind the Mets.

Tonight certainly features another great match-up on the hill, as Roy Halladay (3-2, 1.95) opposes Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.00). Doc is 4-1 lifetime against Atlanta with a 1.78 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 50.2 innings. Hanson is 1-2 with a 2.23 ERA in his career against the Phils with 33 strikeouts in 36.1 innings pitched.

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