Heading into today's game, the Phillies were looking to change their fortunes not only in interleague play, but play on the west coast in general. Last night, the Phillies faced Jon Lester. David Buchanan had one rough inning and the Phillies couldn't recover. The rookie only allowed three runs, making it 15 straight starts in which he has held opponents to three runs or less. The only run the Phils could muster was a solo homer off the bat of Ryan Howard. Today, Jerome Williams, no stranger to the AL, looked to even the series with Oakland while the A's turned to Drew Pomeranz looking for their second straight win.
The Game: The Phillies had an opportunity to strike in the opening inning. After Ben Revere struck out, Maikel Franco singled to short. Chase Utley walked then Ryan Howar struck out swinging. Marlon Byrd was then hit by a pitch, setting up a bases loaded situation for Darin Ruf. Unfortunately, the unproven Ruf went down looking to end the inning. That would be the last hit the Phillies would get until the seventh.
Jerome Williams would get out of a jam in the second. Adam Dunn singled to lead things off. After a Brandon Moss flyout, Josh Reddick singled to left. Jed Lowrie followed with a single of his own, loading the bases with just one down. Luckily, Jerome Williams induced a 4-6-3 double play to Derek Norris to end the inning for Oakland.
Let's go ahead and fast forward to the seventh, since there was no scoring until then. Cody Asche got the Phils first hit since the opening frame, a one-out double to left. After a Wil Nieves groundout moved Asche to third, the recently hot bat of Freddy Galvis came to the plate. Not normally a power guy, Galvis hit a 3-2 fastball over the wall in right center for his fourth homer of the year, giving Philadelphia a 2-0 lead.
The Phils added on another run in the eighth. Chase Utley hit a one-out double to right. Ryan Howard struck out but Marlon Byrd singled to drive in Utley, extending the lead to 3-0.
It was a special day for Ken Giles. On his 24th birthday, he came onto the mound in the ninth in search of his first career save. It only took him nine pitches, including a few 100mph fastballs, to do it. The now 24-year-old flamethrower earnn his first career save, sealing the 3-0 victory for Philadelphia.
Notable Offensive Statistics:
- Chase Utley: 1-3, 2B, R, BB, K
- Cody Asche: 1-3, 2B, R, BB
- Freddy Galvis: 1-4, HR (4), 2 RBI, K
- Josh Reddick (OAK): 2-3
Impact: Jerome Williams threw seven shutout innings, scattering just four hits while striking out three this afternoon. Williams has looked good ever since joining the Phils and he could potentially be brought back next season to compete for a spot in the rotation out of Spring Training. He also made history today, beating the A's for the third time, each while on a different team.In the field, Maikel Franco made another good defensive play, this time at first base. There's no doubting his defensive ability, but will we get to see his offense improve over the final weeks? I hope so. Lastly, it only took Ken Giles nine pitches to earn his first career save. It comes on the day of his 24th birthday.Freddy Galvis gave the Phillies the lead in this one and he has been a big contributor to the offense of late. Over the last four games, he is 6-for-17 with two doubles, two homers and six RBI's. Galvis has four homers since the All-Star Break. Chase Utley only has three.
Up Next: The Phils and A's conclude their series with another 4:05 start tomorrow afternoon. AJ Burnett (8-17, 4.40) will look to bounce back from a string of rough outings while the A's will send Scott Kazmir (14-9, 3.44) to the mound.