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Phillies Beat Nationals Again, Win Streak at 4, Back in 1st

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   Shanbe Victorino    Jamie Moyer     Chase Utley

Trailing 2-0, Nationals’ lead-off leftfielder Willie Harris deposited 45 year old southpaw Jamie Moyer’s 1st pitch of the game way over the out-of-town scoreboard in right centerfield and, four hitters and a runner on 2nd later, catcher Jesus Flores’ 2 run shot gave the Nationals the lead. Moyer then gave up a double but nothing else until the fifth and, meanwhile, the  Phillies pounded Tim Redding for 5 runs in the fith inning on the way to an  8-5 win in Wednesday’s game 2.

The Phillies jumped back into 1st place in the NL East, 1/2 game as Mets lost their get-away game to the Florida Marlins who took 2 of 3 in their series.  The Marlins are 1 1/2 games back in 3rd place. The 4th place  Braves dropped to 9 games back by losing again on Wednesday to the St. Louis Cardinals.

AP sports writer Howard Fendwich noted the comments of both managers about Moyer’s performance for Yahoo sports;

“Tough first inning—he got out of it. He settled down,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. “It was real hot tonight. He was definitely getting gassed. He was tired at the end.”

But Moyer did exactly what was needed to fool the Nationals after the first inning.

“I know it’s a matter of making adjustments and keeping on course and keeping damage to a minimum and go from there,” Moyer said.

Here’s how Nationals manager Manny Acta described Moyer’s effectiveness: “Location, location, location—like real estate, that’s what pitching’s all about.”

The Phils loaded the bases on Redding with one out in the first inning and leftfielder Pat Burrell singled to left driving in a pair to give the Fightins’ an early 2-0 lead.  But the lead was shortlived as the Nationals hammered Moyer for 2 doubles and 2 homers in their half of the inning.

Both pitchers settled down in the second through fourth innings before Redding was chased in the fifth, not recording an out as 5 Phillies runs crossed capped by 2nd baseman Chase Utley’s 2 run homer, his 2nd dinger in 2 games after a long drought. 

AP’s Fendwich recounts the fifth inning;

It began with No. 8 hitter Carlos Ruiz’s single, and then Redding walked Moyer.

“That’s completely inexcusable,” Redding said. “It’s tough enough pitching to these guys—especially these guys, with the lineup they have—with nobody on. You put people on, all of a sudden you’re dancing with danger.”

Jimmy Rollins followed with an RBI double—which might have been a triple if Moyer hadn’t been ahead of him on the base paths—and  [Shane] Victorino delivered a two-run single. Next came Utley’s homer and that was it for Redding, who gave up seven runs and 10 hits in four-plus innings. 

The ‘Flyin’ Hawaiian’ centerfielder led the Phillies with 3 hits in 5 at bats, including a lead-off seventh inning homer off of reliever Steven Shell, and 3 RBIs.

The Nationals rallied for 2 seventh inning runs off of reliever Ryan Madson before Chad Durbin silenced them in the eighth and Brad Lidge put the lights out in the ninth for his 26th save in 26 opportunities.

With the win, Moyer became the 1st Phillie pitcher to reach the 10 win plateau trowing 94 pitches through 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits while walking 3 and striking out 5.  Losing pitcher Redding threw 73 pitches in 4 inning, giving up 7 runs on 10 hits while walking 1 and striking out 1.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Wednesday’s games, click here.

The Phillies try for a sweep as Thursday’s final pits young Kyle Kendrick against 2nd year lefthander John Lannan.

The Phillies begin August with 3 games against the St. Louis Cardinals before another day off on Monday, August 4, before returning home for 3 games against the Florida Marlins followed by 3 games vs the Pittsburgh Pirates.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Thursday’s games, click here.

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