Did you ever expect to see a headline like this? Yeah, me either. So, the Phillies were looking to rebound from a 1-4 road trip out west by hosting a west coast team from the American League in the Seattle Mariners. Just 2-7 against them all-time, the Phillies were looking for anything to get on some sort of roll. With a lineup that includes the likes of Robinson Cano, Dustin Ackley and Kendrys Morales, it wasn't going to be an easy task. Taking the mound for his second start in a Phils uniform was Jerome Williams, who has seen Seattle plenty of times during his stints with teams in the AL. The Mariners sent rookie Roenies Elias, who posted an ERA just over two in his last four starts.
The Game: The teams were scoreless until the bottom of the third inning, when the Phillies got on the board. Carloz Ruiz and Ryan Howard both worked walks after Ben Revere and Chase Utley were retired. Marlon Byrd capitalized on the free passes given by Elias by smacking an RBI double to left field, scoring Ruiz. 1-0 Phillies. Elias walked Darin Ruf, loading the bases for Cody Asche, who struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Phillies had plenty of chances to blow the game open, stranding the bases loaded in the third and fourth, but Andres Blanco wouldn't let that happen in the fifth. After Marlon Byrd struck out, Darin Ruf ripped a double to center field. Cody Asche walked and Andres Blanco followed the with a three-run blast over the wall in right field, giving the Phillies a 4-0 lead. It was Blanco's first homer since July 1st, 2011.
Seattle finally broke through in the eighth. Jerome Williams hit Chris Taylor to start the inning and was immediately pulled for Giles. Giles gave up a single to Endy Chavez before striking out Austin Jackson. Next, Dustin Ackley doubled to left to score Chris Taylor, cutting the Phillies lead to three, 4-1. That was all the Mariners would get though, as the the Phillies rookie flamethrower got Robinson Cano & Kendrys Morales both to go down swinging. The run given up was charged to Jerome Williams.
Jonathan Papelbon gave up a single in the ninth but it didn't matter as he earned his 29th save of the season.
Notable Offensive Statistics:
- Ben Revere: 2-5
- Darin Ruf: 2-3, R, BB, K
- Andres Blanco: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, R
- Marlon Byrd: 1-4, 2B, RBI
Impact: Two unlikely heroes shined tonight in Jerome Williams and Andres Blanco. Williams threw seven innings of one-run ball, scattering just three hits while striking out three and walking four. He threw 94 pitches, 58 for strikes. Meanwhile, Andres Blanco filled in quite nicely for J-Roll, cranking his first homer in over three years, a three-run homer to extend the Phillies lead to four in the fifth. After getting two hits and scoring a run in three at-bats, Darin Ruf was replaced in the 8th for Grady Sizemore. Though he has been performing well, I don't know why you opt to take out Ruf, who had doubled and singled already. With the Phils, you never know when the pitching will implode, so I would have kept Darin in there for the offense if it was needed later in the game, even though it wasn't. Nothing against Sizemore, but how about letting Ruf play a whole game? Meanwhile, Ken Giles looked a little to start his inning, but settled in and got Cano and Morales to strike out. Though they won, the Phillies left 11 men on base tonight.
Up Next: The Phillies and Mariners continue their series Tuesday night at 7:05. AJ Burnett (6-13, 4.35) looks to rebound from a string of bad outings for the Phils while Seattle will send Hisashi Iwahuma (11-6, 2.72) to the hill.
Brandon Apter, Publishing Editor for Philliedelphia.com