The Philadelphia Phillies dropped an extra innings decision to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies had a chance to do something that they had not done in more than a decade. Not since May of 2006 had the Phils swept a series from the San Francisco Giants.
That streak lasted all through their glorious stretch of five straight NL East crowns and back-to-back National League pennants. And now, it continues.
The Giants avoided a sweep at the hands of the Phils with a 3-2 extra innings victory on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
The win came largely due to a big solo home run, but was also aided by a Phillies baserunning gaffe in the bottom of the 9th inning.
This was a pitching duel between the Giants new acquisition, 27-year old southpaw Matt Moore, who came from the Tampa Bay Rays in a trade deadline deal, and Vincent Velasquez, the Phillies 24-year old righty who came from the Houston Astros this past off-season in the big Ken Giles deal.
Moore would allow two earned runs on just three hits in his San Francisco debut, striking out seven. However, he ran up his pitch count by walking a half-dozen batters, and had to be lifted after making 108 pitches.
Velasquez allowed just two earned on three hits over five innings, with six strikeouts and three walks. As usual, Velasquez also had a problem with his pitch count which drove him out early, making 93 pitches over those five frames.
When the starters left it was a 2-2 game. The Giants broke on top thanks to a Brandon Crawford RBI single in the 1st inning, and the Phils got it even right away with an RBI double from Aaron Altherr in the bottom of that initial frame.
A sac fly from Denard Span put the Giants back up 2-1 in the 5th, but the Phillies scratched out a run in the bottom of the 6th to even things up again.
The rest of the game, the San Francisco bullpen proved a difference maker, allowing just one hit over the final four innings.
In the bottom of the 9th, the Phillies took a run at winning it, but ended up running themselves out of that opportunity. Cesar Hernandez singled with two outs.
Then on a 3-1 pitch to Altherr, Hernandez took off. He had 2nd base stolen, but slightly overslid the bag. Giants 2nd baseman Joe Panik kept the tag on him for the final out.
Meanwhile, the Phillies pen matched them into the top of the 10th inning. Span led off that inning, and drove a 2-2 offering from Severino Gonzalez just inside the right field foul pole and just over the fence. The solo homer put the visitors on top 3-2 and would prove the difference maker.
“We played ’em tough today, just didn’t get the big hits,” said manager Pete Mackanin following the game. “Velasquez started to develop a little blister on his finger, that’s why he came out of the game. Other than that, we hung in there to the end, another extra inning game.”
Mackanin also announced that top pitching prospect Jake Thompson will be making his big league debut on Saturday night in San Diego. The Phillies leave this evening for a six game road swing to Southern California, visiting both the Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers for three games each.