Phillies Break Out the Bats – Finally
The Phillies returned home to Citizens Bank Park, and the familiar surroundings proved just what the doctor ordered for their ailing bats. The Phils scored multiple runs in three different innings to blast the visiting Miami Marlins by a 7-3 score in front of a Tuesday night crowd of 21,993 happy fans.
Jerome Williams evened his personal record at 1-1 by battling through 6 innings, allowing 8 hits and 2 earned runs, with a 6-1 K:BB ratio on the night. Luis Garcia, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon each hurled a shutout inning to close it out, allowing just a combined 2 hits while striking out 4 and walking none. “Williams did a nice job keeping them in check with the two earned runs,” said manager Ryne Sandberg.
But it was the bats that were the story on this night. Things started well early, with Freddy Galvis drilling a 2-run homer on a line to rightfield off Marlins’ starter Dan Haren (1-1), putting the Phillies up 2-0. Haren also went 6 innings, allowing jut 4 hits with a 7-3 K:BB ratio. But enough of those hits were big as he allowed 4 earned runs.
The visiting Fish got on the board in the top of the 4th in typical Miami fashion, with a mammoth homerun off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton. The drive rose all the way out to the visitor’s bullpen, just below Ashburn Alley in dead center. The solo blast cut the Phils lead to 2-1.
Then in the top of the 5th, the Marlins took the lead. They opened things with three consecutive singles, the last off the bat of Adeiny Hechavarria, whose single scored Ichiro Suzuki. The Japanese future Hall of Famer had singled for the 2,850th hit of his MLB career.
Williams nearly wriggled out of the jam when he got Haren to ground into a doubleplay. But Dee Gordon smacked a hard shot off the glove of Howard at 1st, the ball popping out into short right field. The play was ruled an error on the Phils 1st baseman, and Hechavarria scampered home with the go-ahead run.
“A good night for Howard, kind of a breakout night for him. Swung the bat well” ~ Sandberg
With two outs in the bottom of the 6th, Cody Asche singled to bring Howard to the plate. The ‘Big Piece’ came up big, blasting his first homerun of the season just over the centerfield fence and putting the Fightin’ Phils up by a 4-3 score.
“A good night for Howard, kind of a breakout night for him. Swung the bat well, and driving the ball to centerfield like that. That’s a good sign,” said Sandberg. Then in response to a reporter’s question “The walk was big, getting on base, that showed some patience there. And then the base hit, solid base hit, followed by the drive to centerfield. So three quality at-bats. That’s good to see.”
The Phillies weren’t done scoring yet. In the bottom of the 7th, it was their speed rather than their power. Jeff Francoeur, who came on in the top of the inning as part of a defensive switch, doubled with one out. Odubel Herrera followed by beating out a grounder to short, with Francoeur moving up to 3rd base on a throwing error by Hechavarria.
Apr 21, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA;
Miami Marlins right fielder Stanton (27) rounds third after hitting a home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth inning at Citizens Bank Park.
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
That brought Ben Revere to the dish, and the Phillies speedster smacked a triple to centerfield, scoring Francoeur and sending Herrera on a long trip around the bases. The lightening quick Herrera scored all the way from 1st, and it was 6-3. When Chase Utley followed with a sacrifice fly to score Revere, the lead was at 7-3, and the final score was set.
So the Phillies finally hit the ball around the yard a bit. This Marlins pitching staff, as we covered in our TBOH Series Preview earlier today, is the weakest the Phils have seen thus far in 2015. Hopefully the offense can continue to take advantage, and will put some runs on the board tomorrow night when staff ace Cole Hamels takes the hill trying to get his season going in the right direction.