The Phillies hit four solo home runs, including two off the bat of Domonic Brown, in support of Kyle Kendrick Wednesday night as the Phillies defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-2.
Kendrick (5-3) came into the game looking to rebound following two poor starts where he allowed nine runs in 11 innings of work, both losses. Early on, it looked like Kendrick would again be in trouble as Boston leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury hit a triple over the head of Ben Revere in center. Dustin Pedroia hit a sac-fly to put the Red Sox up 1-0, and Boston starter John Lackey retired the Phillies 1-2-3 to end the first.
The Red Sox, however, only enjoyed the lead for a short time as Lackey(3-5) allowed a leadoff, opposite-field home run to Ryan Howard to begin the second inning, tying the game at one apiece.
As Kendrick went about quieting the Red Sox' bats over the next few innings (he allowed just two baserunners over the next four frames following the first), the Phillies got to work on Lackey. Domonic Brown and Erik Kratz went back-to-back in the fourth, each hitting long, solo home runs to stake the Phillies to a 3-1 lead after four.
Kendrick continued to limit the damage until the sixth inning, when Boston outfielder Daniel Nava hit a long home run off of the Budweiser sign in left field, his 7th of the year, to bring the Sox within one run of the Phillies.
It looked as if a rally might be imminent, as a Ryan Howard fielding error and Kendrick's third walk put men on first and second with one out, but with his 100th pitch of the night, Kendrick induced an inning-ending double play off the bat of Mike Carp.
Antonio Bastardo relieved Kendrick comming into the 7th. He, too, ran into trouble, allowing two baserunners in the inning, but managed to work around hitting Johnny Gomes and a Jose Iglesias double to keep Boston off the board.
Mike Adams entered in the eighth and shut down the Red Sox 1-2-3, striking out two. In the bottom of the inning, Brown hit his second home run of the night, his 13th of the season, to put the Phillies up 4-2.
Then came the fun part. Jonathan Papelbon came in to close the door, but the Red Sox clearly had no intention of making it easy for him and the Phillies. Papelbon struck out Jackie Bradley Jr. to start the inning, but followed up by walking Stephen Drew.
A huge sigh of relief came when pinch-hitter David Ortiz flew out for the second out, but Johnny Gomes singled to bring up Ellsbury. With the tying run at the plate, Ellsbury hit a bloop single into left just out of Brown's reach to plate Drew, and the Red Sox were within one run with their top-of-the-order still comming up. Papelbon, though, managed to induce a weak grounder off the bat of Nava, which Howard took to first for the third and final out.
The Phillies (26-27) will try again tomorrow to reach the .500 mark in the final game of the series against Boston. Franklin Morales, who is filling in for Jon Lester, will be opposed by Jonathan Pettibone, who has not yet lost a start this season.
Notes: Cesar Hernandez came in as a pinch-hitter for Bastardo in the 7th; he popped out on the first pitch of his first major league at-bat...No reason was given for Lester missing tomorrow's start...CSN Philadelphia noted after the game that Chase Utley will indeed not be ready to come off the disabled list when he is eligible...