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Utley’s Triple Rallies Phillies Past Toronto in Series Final

       
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       Jamie Moyer     Chase Utley    Brad Lidge

Toronto jumped out early on Phillies’ 46 year old veteran Jamie Moyer as 2nd baseman Aaron Hill hit first and third inning solo shots and leftfielder  Jose Bautista clubbed a 2 run shot in the second inning to stake 32 year old lefthander Brian Tallet to 3-0 and 4-1 leads through three innings.  But the Phils rallied for 4 runs to take the lead in the fourth inning led by 2nd baseman Chase Utley’s bases-clearing 2 run triple.  Once the Phils gained the lead, Moyer had no problem shuting down the Blue Jays in the fourth and fifth innings and the bullpen held on to the 1 run lead despite shaky eighth and ninth innings as Utley’s triple rallied the Phillies past Toronto by a 5-4 score and to a 2 of 3 game series victory in Sunday’s final.
 
The Phillies NL East division lead is back up to 2 1/2 games as the
Mets were beaten again and swept by the Yankees on Sunday. Florida lost again to their state rival Tampa Bay but are still breathing hot down the Mets’ necks at 3 games back in the division.

AP’s recap describes the game for Yahoo sports:

Moyer (6-6) allowed four runs and five hits in five innings to win consecutive starts for the first time since April 21 and 26. He won just one of his following nine starts before beating Tampa Bay last Tuesday.

“Probably the brightest side for me was go out in the fourth and put up a zero after we came back and scored some runs,” Moyer said.

Utley went 2 for 4 with a walk as the Phillies won a series for the first time since taking two of three from the New York Mets on June 9-11.  Philadelphia had lost four straight series and has won just four of its past 15 games.

Hill hit two solo homers, giving him his first career multihomer game, and Jose Bautista added a two-run shot for the Blue Jays, who finished interleague play at 7-11.

Hill has a career-high 19 home runs this season to break the Blue Jays record for homers by a second baseman that he shared with Roberto Alomar.  Alomar hit 17 in 1993 and Hill tied the mark in 2007.

Philadelphia took the lead with a four-run fourth against left-hander Brian Tallet (5-5).  Carlos Ruiz hit a bases-loaded fielder’s choice, Shane Victorino followed with a sacrifice fly and Utley capped it with a two-out triple to right-center.

Tallet allowed five runs, four earned, and eight hits in six innings. He struck out six but his six walks were a career high.

Following two perfect innings from Chan Ho Park, the Phillies gave the ball to Ryan Madson and survived a scare in the eighth. A single, an error and a two-out intentional walk loaded the bases for pinch-hitter Russ Adams, who popped out.

[Closer] Brad Lidge’s knee… faced a big test Sunday.

Activated off the disabled list last week after being out since June 9 with a sprained right knee, Lidge had to move quickly when Blue Jays catcher Raul Chavez bunted to begin the ninth, reaching safely when Lidge’s throw pulled Ryan Howard off first base.

“They probably know why I came off the DL and they tried to test it,” Lidge said. “Unfortunately he laid a perfect bunt down, too. I was able to get to it and grab the ball and throw it and no damage. I walked around the mound just to take inventory, make sure everything felt all right, and it did. That was huge for me.”

John McDonald ran for Chavez and Lidge walked Marco Scutaro. But he got Aaron Hill to pop out, then tested his knee again by spinning off the rubber and catching McDonald in a rundown between second and third.

“I kind of thought if there was something I would feel it on, it would be those (fielding plays),” Lidge said. “I didn’t and thank goodness.”

Two pitches later, Lidge got Vernon Wells to ground out, giving him his 14th save in 20 chances.

“At the end there, we were hanging on for dear life but it worked out,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Lidge said having full strength in his knee made him feel he had “control of the game.”

“Being able to use my back leg and drive off that really helped my fastball stay on line,” Lidge said. “That’s the biggest thing for me, being able to throw that pitch and being able to locate it better.”

Rightfielder Jayson Werth has now reached safely in 10 consecutive plate appearances having singled to leftfield in the fourth and been walked 4 times on Sunday.  He scored the 1st of the 2 runs which scored on Utley’s game-winning 2 run triple and was 4 for 4 with 2 homers and 3 RBIs on Saturday.

Winning pitcher Moyer threw 82 pitches through five innings giving up 4 runs, on the 3 homers, on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. Losing pitcher Tallet, plagued by wildness, threw 110 pitches through 6 innings while giving up 5 runs on 8 hits while walking 6 and striking out 6.  Lidge’s save was his 14th in 20 opportunies.

In related news, Phillies young lefthander Antonio Bastardo will miss his next rotation turn with a strained shoulder and is scheduled for a doctor’s look-over on Monday.

Phillies Nation reports on coming Phillies roster additions or changes:

…The Phillies will call up young righthanded [thank goodness!] pitcher Carlos Carrasco to make his season debut on Thursday. Carrassco struggled early on this season in the minors but has gotten better as of late.

Earlier it was announced that Jimmy Rollins would be starting Tuesday and will be leading off. Rollins as well as the rest of the line up have a tough test Tuesday against Lowe and have not hit well against him. Also this week, the Phils hitters will have to face one of the games best pitchers in Johan Santana [9-5, 3.08 ERA]. On a brighter note the Phillies will be receiving an injection of life when Raul Ibanez returns in time for the weekend showdown.

3rd baseman Scott Rolen did no damage to the Phils in this one despite going 2 for 3 and extending his career-high hitting streak to 16 games. The other Phillies nemesis, catcher Rod Barajas is still nursing a sore hamstring and didn’t play.  He’ll take batting practice on Monday and try to run before the Blue Jays decide whether or not he goes on the DL.

For the scores of all of Sunday’s games, click here.
 
The Phillies have Monday off before ending June and beginning July with a 3 game series in
Atlanta.

We get a break from constant lefthanders on Tuesday as Joe Blanton takes the mound in the series opener.  He is opposed by 34 year old Japanese righthander Kenshin Kawakami who beat the Phils in their only previous encounter.  Blanton has a 1-1 mark against the Braves in 2009.

For all of Monday’s and Tuesday’s games, click here and here. 

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