Freddy Galvis came up big with his first homer of the year, giving the Phillies the lead in the fifth against Gio Gonzalez
The Nationals made things interesting late, but a strong effort from the bullpen in relief of Cole Hamels helped the Phillies escape with the win Tuesday night in the second game of their teams’ three game set.
Gio Gonzalez has been more hittable this season than in years past, and his last start, seven shutout innings against the Diamondbacks, was his first quality start since his July 26th start against the Reds. The Phillies chased him early in the start that followed, but the lefty more than held his own in the early goings of this game, as the two starters combined to allow just six base runners through the first four innings. Hamels looked especially good, hitting his spots and getting his fastball in the 94-95 range with a low pitch-count all game.
The Phillies broke through against Gonzalez in a big way in the fifth. Grady Sizemore led off with a triple to the wall in deep center, but didn’t have to exert nearly as much effort coming around to score. Freddy Galvis, starting at second with Chase Utley off for the night, turned on and drilled a high fastball from Gonzalez down the line in left for his first homer of the season, putting the Phillies up 2-0. An inning later, they tacked on another run when Darin Ruf jumped on a pitch down the middle of the plate for a solo homer, his third of the year.
Hamels had been mowing the Nationals down to that point, recording four innings where he needed less than ten pitches to retire the side, but things didn’t go quite as smoothly in the seventh. Anthony Rendon led off with a single into center field, and Ian Desmond reached on a groundball to third. Scott Hairston walked to load the bases before Wilson Ramos and Kevin Frandsen hit consecutive singles to right, scoring Desmond and Rendon to cut the Phillies’ lead to 3-2.
Hamels came back out to start the eighth, but was greeted by Asdrubal Cabrera’s 12th home run of the year, a solo shot to left center to tie the game at three. Ryne Sandberg then gave Hamels the hook in favor of Ken Giles. Giles (3-1) dominated the Nationals’ 3-4-5 hitters, striking them out in order on 13 pitches.
Ben Revere hit a groundball to short to lead off the bottom of the ninth, and while Desmond’s throw was quick and on-time, Frandsen’s foot was shown to be off the bag at first after official review. Revere then stole second, and came around to score after long sac-flies by Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz, the latter collecting the RBI that gave the Phillies back the lead against Tyler Clippard (7-3). Jonathan Papelbon came in for the ninth and got a strikeout of Bryce Harper to start the ninth en-route to the save, sealing the 4-3 victory for the Phils. It was his 100th save as a member of the team.
Darin Ruf: 2-3, R, HR (3), RBI
Freddy Galvis: 2-3, R, HR (1), 2 RBI
Cole Hamels: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (84 Pitches, 58 Strikes)
The Phillies have looked solid in taking the first two games of the series from the Nationals, who came into the game with the best record and run differential in the National League. It was a shame that Hamels sputtered late, as he just looked locked in all game before the seventh. In addition to his solid day at the plate, Galvis also looked as good as ever defensively at second. Prior to the game, Hamels commented about the good job done by the bullpen, and Giles showed why that praise was well deserved during his inning of work. He hopped off the mound after getting the final strikeout on a filthy slider to Desmond. The Phillies might not be a very good team, but its hard to be completely down on them with guys like Giles around.
The Phillies will look to sweep the Nationals with a win Wednesday night, as Kyle Kendrick (6-11, 4.93 ERA) takes the hill opposite Doug Fister (12-4, 2.38). Kendrick pitched into the seventh in the Phillies’ 5-4 win over St. Louis last Friday, allowing four runs on eight hits. Fister suffered just his fourth loss of the season his last time out, surrendering four runs over six innings to the Giants, but was on point in his last start against the Phillies, allowing just two runs over seven innings.