Hopefully, Thursday night was just a small hiccup.
Because on Friday night, the Phillies did what they were supposed to do against the worst baseball franchise since players stopped using cardboard milk cartons for baseball gloves and the pitcher’s mound was about 40 feet away from home plate.
The offense kept the pedal to the metal, pounding out 12 runs on 16 hits in their 12-6 win over the Houston Astros.
Jimmy Rollins hit his team-leading 20th homer of the season to lead off the game, and the offense never let up from there. The Phillies put four on the board in the first inning, staking Cole Hamels to an early 4-0 lead.
And while Hamels wasn’t at his sharpest, he was good enough to last seven innings, giving up four runs (three earned) and seven hits with seven strikeouts in earning his 15th win of the season.
Offensively, everyone got into the act. John Mayberry Jr. got a huge two-run single in the top of the 5th to put the Phillies up 5-3. How did an infield single plate two runs? Because of the hustle of Carlos Ruiz, who has picked up right where he left off before hitting the DL a few weeks ago. Domonic Brown added his third home run of the season, a towering, upper deck shot that put the Phillies up 9-4 and essentially put the game away.
The Phillies also got a lot of help from the rest of the National League, as the Brewers, Pirates, and Cardinals all lost, moving the Phils back to just three games out of the wild card race.
St. Louis is still on top after their loss to the Dodgers, but L.A. is now just one game out. The Pirates, who have now lost seven straight games, are tied with the Phillies at three back, with Milwaukee 3 1/2 games behind and the Arizona Diamondbacks 4 1/2 games out.
The Phillies continue their four-game series against the Astros’ AAA team on Saturday.