The Phillies and Braves opened up a three-game series tonight in Philadelphia. This series will be the last time Braves third baseman Chipper Jones sees Philadelphia in his final season of major league baseball. So what better way to congratulate Chipper on a Hall of Fame career than with a smattering of boos, a few "Larry!" chants, and a 6-2 victory over his team?
Juan Pierre and the Phils got the ball rolling early tonight. In the first inning with one out, Pierre hit a ball as hard as I've ever seen him hit one. It soared to the seats in right field, but bounced off the railing, rebounding far enough that Pierre made it safely into third. Chase Utley finished the deal with a groundout which sent Pierre home and put the Phillies up, 1-0.
The Braves tied it up in the top of the second with a groundout of their own. Brian McCann grounded out to second, scoring Freddie Freeman.
Kevin Frandsen broke the tie with a solo home run in the bottom of the third, a no doubt about it shot to left field.
The Phillies got a tad homer happy in the fourth. With nobody on base, Ryan Howard jacked a home run into the Phillies' bullpen. To follow, Carlos Ruiz sent one to the seats way, way back in left. They went back-to-back to take a 4-1 lead.
While Kyle Kendrick was dominating Atlanta, the Phils were giving him a solid lead to work with. In the sixth, the Phils added to their lead with an RBI single to center from Carlos Ruiz which plated Chase Utley. 5-1 ballgame.
With Kendrick still in for the seventh inning, Atlanta scored a run with a single from Jose Constanza which scored Dan Uggla. Kendrick was pulled from the game after recording two outs, making room for Jeremy Horst who retired the side.
Kyle Kendrick's line from this evening: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. He tossed 98 pitches, 65 for strikes.
Antonio Bastardo took over in the eighth inning. He allowed one hit, but struck out two in the inning, including the final out.
The Phils put another on the board in the bottom of the eighth. Chase Utley slapped a solo shot in the stands in left field-- right into Utley's corner. That was the Phillies' fourth homer of the night, a season high.
Jonathan Papelbon came in to seal the deal on this slug-fest of a ballgame. He recorded two pop-ups before striking out Brian McCann to end the game. Phillies win their fourth straight, 6-2.
After tonight's ballgame, Chase Utley now stands at 199 home runs, and Ryan Howard stands at 299. Considering the way Howard has been swinging the bat, number 300 should come very soon!
Tomorrow evening at 4:05, Mike Minor and Roy Halladay will square off in the second game of this weekend series.