With the win, the Phils’ upped their NL East lead to 6 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves who lost to the 4th place Florida Marlins. The 3rd place Mets dropped to 13 1/2 games back after losing to last place Washington, while the 4th place Florida Marlins remained 15 1/2 games back.
The Phillies trailed 5-3 in the eighth when Ibanez hit a two-run shot for his second homer of the game. He doubled to right off Tony Watson (0-2) in the 10th to score Pence and help the Phillies complete a three-game sweep.
“We stay together and pull together when we need to,” Ibanez said.
Antonio Bastardo (4-0) struck out one in a scoreless inning to earn the win.
Ibanez hit a solo homer in the second off Pirates starter Jeff Karstens and his tying blast was off Jose Veras. The Phillies are a season-high 29 games over .500 (68-39) and swept their fifth series of the season.
The Pirates, trying to keep pace in a crowded NL Central race, left Philadelphia reeling but with two new bats. A day after they traded for Derrek Lee, the Pirates acquired outfielder Ryan Ludwick from the San Diego Padres.
Lyle Overbay hit a two-run homer and Karstens pitched seven solid innings for the Pirates.
On the brink of losing his starting first baseman’s job, Overbay connected on a two-run shot off Phillies starter Vance Worley in the sixth for a 4-3 lead. Overbay, a disappointment in his first season with the Pirates, will hit the bench once Lee joins the team. Lee, acquired from Baltimore on Saturday, should take over at first when the Pirates return home.
After allowing 17 runs to the Phillies in the first two games of the series, Karstens turned in a nice little outing.
The Pirates then got Ludwick from the Padres for a player to be named or cash considerations.
Ludwick batted .238 with a team-leading 11 home runs and 64 RBIs in 378 at-bats. He was scratched two minutes before the start of the Padres game Sunday against Colorado.
“They have a bunch of answers,” Hurdle said. “Today, it was Ibanez.”
He hit his 15th homer in the second, a solo shot, for a 1-0 lead and Jimmy Rollins singled in two runs in the fifth that gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead.
Worley, coming off his first career complete game, picked up where he left off, fanning five straight batters over the first and second innings. With his glasses and quirky mohawk, Worley has become an instant fan favorite. He struggled after his fast start, allowing seven hits and four runs in six innings.
For all of Sunday’s scores and recaps, click here.
The Phils head out West to begin a 3 game series with the Colorado Rockies beginning on Monday. Lefthander Cole Hamels hopes to gain his 13th win to match ace Roy Halladay. Hamels is opposed by 23 year old Jhoulys Chacin for the Rockies.
For all of Monday’s scheduled games throughout MLB, click here.