Phillies ace lefthander Cole Hamels not only pitched a dominating game against the Padres for 7 1/3 innings, but personally sent Greg Maddux to the showers with a seventh inning one out single putting runners on 1st and 3rd as the Phils knocked off San Diego by a 7-4 score in the opener of their 3 game series at Citizen’s Bank Park.
Hamels was awesome right from the beginning as he mixed his nasty changeup with a sharp fastball. The left-hander retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced and allowed only 5 hits, walking 2 while striking out 6 as only 7 Padres reached base against him. It was Hamels’ 3rd win vs 3 losses.
The Padres left only 3 men on against Hamels, but had two hits rubbed out, one in the third inning on a two out attempt by 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez to stetch a single to rightfield into a double which was foiled by rightfielder Geoff Jenkins’ on-target throw, and the other being after a sixth inning one out single to centerfield by rightfielder Brian Giles. Giles was rubbed out when former Phillie 2nd baseman Tadahito Iguchi grounded to Hamels who turned a pitcher-to-second-to-first doubleplay.
1st baseman Ryan Howard put them up 1-0 in the first with a 2 out single to right after shortstop Eric Bruntlett, batting 2nd, singled and stole second. In the third Bruntlett’s one out single to rightfield uppedd the score to 2-0 scoring centerfielder Jayson Werth who tripled to rightfield.
In the Padres fifth, rightfielder Scott Hairston belted a one out solo homer off of Hamels to leftfield to narrow the score to 2-1. Hairston would clout a 2nd homer in the game, a two run dinger off of reliever Ryan Madson in the ninth to account for San Diego’s final runs.
In the seventh inning, a Werth sacrifice to centerfield, following singles by catcher Carlos Ruiz and Hamels drove in Ruiz with the 3rd Phillies run as Maddux hit the showers.
The Padres narrowed the gap by scoring their 2nd run in the eighth inning on Tad Iguchi’s one out grounder to shortstop as reliever Tom Gordon came on to retire the side.
The Phillies blew the close 3-2 game open with 4 runs in their eighth inning. AP Sports Writer Rob Maaddi describes the inning for Yahoo sports;
Madson sandwiched Hairston’s 2 run ninth inning homer in between two strikeouts, the latter one ending the game.
Maddux gave up three runs and eight hits in six 1/3 innings in his 3rd attempt to win the coveted number 350. AP’s Maaddi records Maddux’s reactions to the loss;
Maddux said, “It’s not a milestone. It really isn’t. Trust me, I’ve been on extra credit for five or six years now. I’ve stopped pitching for results. I’m just going out there to see how long I can do it.”
The Phillies got two hit games from Utley, Feliz and Ruiz as the 29 year old catcher drove in two runs.
The Phillies reactivated centerfielder Shane Victorino who came off of the disabled list on Tuesday. Victorino was used as pinch hitter and late game replacement for Werth in center as Werth shifted right and So Taguchi replaced Pat Burrell in left. Victorino may be hard-pressed to return as the starting centerfielder, supplanting Werth who has played soo well both as a leadoff hitter and in the outfield.
Mike Lieberthal will retire as a Phillie. The catcher spent 13 seasons with the club, catching the bulk of the time between Darren Daulton and Carlos Ruiz. A .275 hitter with the Phillies, he holds the franchise record for games caught.
Lieberthal was a two-time All Star catcher who had four 30 plus homer seasons with three other seasons where he hit 25, 27 and 29 homers. His best season was in 1999 when he hit 31 homers, drove in 96 runs, hit 33 doubles with a .300 batting average.
For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Tuesday’s games, click here.
For the scores, boxscores and recaps on Wednesday’s games, click here.