Philly Sports Live

Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad

The Phillies ended the first half of the 2013 season on a very high note, winning their fourth straight series, this time against the American League Chicago White Sox.  They’ve now won eight of their last eleven games leading up to the All-Star break, and also finish at .500.

Cole Hamels got the start for Philadelphia, and continued his recent string of dominance. He was given two first inning runs, thanks to a two run double from Domonic Brown. The Phillies have not scored a ton of runs in these last four series, but it has been enough for the pitching staff to make it stand up.

Though, it has not been without struggle or multiple tests of stamina. Today’s game would go extra innings, just as both games yesterday did. The Phils & Sox played a grand total of 34 innings in two days.

Today’s game would take 10 innings to decide.

Hamels himself knocked in a run in the fifth with an RBI single and the Phils led 3-0. Hamels allowed a run in the sixth and another in the eighth on a solo shot by Alejandro De Aza that made it 3-2 heading to the ninth.

Hamels finished going eight innings, allowed eight hits and two earned runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out seven. He deserved to get his fourth victory of the season and third in a row, but he would not.

Jonathan Papelbon came out to close out the game, allowed a man to reach base before recording two outs. Blake Tekotte managed to steal second, and would score on a single by catcher Josh Phegley to centerfield. It was Papelbon’s fifth blown save of the year, and left Hamels with a no decision.

Paps managed to get the final out and the game eventually went to extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth, Chase Utley led off with a double, followed by an intentional walk to Jimmy Rollins. Dom Brown then grounded softly to third that allowed the runner to move up.

Darin Ruf was then intentionally walked and White Sox skipper Robin Ventura made a pitching change, calling on right hander Ramon Troncoso to face Delmon Young. Delmon, again, struck out in a big spot, leaving the bases loaded with two men out. The next batter was John Mayberry, Jr., who was 0-4 on the day.

Mayberry came through with a game winning, first pitch single to center that plated Utley and won the game for the Phillies 4-3.

Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless tenth to record the win.

With an Atlanta loss today to Cincinnati, the Phillies are 6.5 games out of first heading into the break, and 5.5 games back of the last wild card spot in the National League.

Give them credit for winning four consecutive series, give them credit for believing, and give them credit for maintaining that fighting spirit of Philadelphia through a topsy-turvy first half filled with injuries, inconsistency & criticism.

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