Rangers 2nd baseman Ian Kinsler, who has pounded the Phillies’ throughout the series, shortstop Michael Young and recently called up 1st baseman Chris Davis who again homered, all provided offensive support as rookie Eric Hurley and the Rangers bullpen set down the stone-cold Phils offense Sunday for a 5-1 win in their series final.
The loss, coupled with wins by Florida and the Mets and a loss by Atlanta, shrunk the Phillies NL East lead to 1 game over the 2nd place Marlins, 3 games over the 3rd place Mets. The Phils remained 4 games up on 4th place Atlanta.
The Phils finished up with a 4-11 mark in interleague play, but even worse, they are 5-13 since June 10 and 12-14 for the month of June having lost 9 of their last 11 games. Not a good way to go into July which begins with a critical 3 game set with Atlanta followed by an equally critical 10 game homestand starting with 4 games against the Mets.
Once again, Texas wasted no time in going to work on a Phillies starter, this time veteran lefthander Jamie Moyer. Lead-off hitter 2nd baseman Ian Kinsler, 8 for 13 for the series, opened the game with a triple to rightfield and scored on shortstop Michael Young’s ground out to shortstop.
In the second inning, after Moyer got former Phil centerfielder Marlon Byrd on strikes, 1st baseman Chris Davis hit his 2nd homer in 3 starts since being called up from the minors last Thursday. Davis went yard on Moyer to centerfield for the Ranger’s 2nd run.
In the third inning, shortstop Michael Young opened with a double and
DH Josh Hamilton followed with a single to right for the Ranger’s 3rd run.
The Phils managed to plate a run in the sixth as 2nd baseman Chase Utley slammed a 1 out double to rightfield. After leftfielder Pat Burrell struck out, 1st baseman Ryan Howard drove in Utley with a single to left.
Hurley, who was credited with the win after pitching 5 2/3 innings after throwing 105 pitches and giving up 1 run, 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 3, was replaced by reliever Jamey Wright after Howard’s single. Wright got DH Greg Dobbs to ground out to end the inning. Wright, who was also in for the seventh inning, as well as two other Rangers relievers set the Phillies down in order the rest of the way (totally 3 1/3 innings) striking out 4.
Losing pitcher Moyer, although he did not manage a clean 1-2-3 inning through 5 2/3 innings, held Texas off the board in the fourth and fifth innings before being replaced by reliever Ryan Madson with 2 on and 2 out in the sixth. Madson got Michael Young to ground out to short to end the inning.
Moyer’s line for the game; 117 pitches, 3 runs, 7 hits, 4 walks and 6 strikeouts.
Madson finished the game going 2 1/3 innings for the Phils and was touched-up in the eighth inning for the final 2 Rangers’ runs on an RBI single by 3rd baseman Ramon Vazquez and Michael Young’s bases loaded groundout.
AP Sports Writer David Jimenez recounts the Phillies’ offensive woes for Yahoo sports;
Philadelphia did not have a base hit the rest of the way. The Phillies, who had 15 runs in the first two games against the Rangers, has scored three runs or fewer in eight of their last 14 games.
“We’re not swinging the bat well,” Utley said. “We had a few opportunities, but just not enough.”
For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Sunday’s games, click here.
The Phillies have an off-day on Monday before facing Atlanta for 3 huge games with the NL lead, just a few weeks ago looking safely in the Phils’ grasp by 7 1/2 games, now essentially up for grabs.
In Tuesday’s series opener with the Braves, 2nd year hurler Kyle Kendrick, 2ith a 7-3 record is opposed by rookie Charlie Morton who is 1-1 in 3 starts. On Wednesday, Adam Eaton faces Jorge Campillo. In the series final, Brett Myers apparently gets another chance (subject to change) to perform and skirt demotion out of the rotation against a very hot Jair Jurrjens who has given up but 3 runs in 22 1/3 innings in his last 3 starts.
For the scores, boxscores and recaps on Monday’s games, click here.