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Division Leaders Battle as Phillies Get Swept by Halos

Mike Scioscia returned to his hometown of Philadelphia for a three game set with the NL East leading Phillies (42-33) Friday night and the pitching of other teams continues to haunt the Phils as Ervin Santana (9-3) was on the hill for the Angels (44-30). Santana was brilliant only giving up one unearned run on two hits in seven innings of work for his ninth win of the season. Philadelphia Phillies hats Meanwhile Adam Eaton’s (2-5) run of quality starts came to an end as he gave up another first inning home run, but this time he could not settle down and the Phils gave him no run support in the 7-1 loss. Vladimir Guerrero connected for his 11 th home run of the season and went 3-5 with a home run and three runs batted in. Howie Kendrick also had a solid night at the plate as he went 4-5 with a run driven in. The ferocious lineup for the Phillies only mustered up two hits in the game and Chase Utley, the National League leader in All Star voting has zero hits in his last 24 at-bats. It doesn’t look good for the Phils as Joe Saunders gets the start for the Angels and he is rolling at 10-3 on the year. Brett Myers will get the start for the Phillies and he has struggled with consistency all year long.

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How about one player that has haunted the Phillies (42-34) since his days with the Montreal Expos! Yes one player continues to torment the Phillies. Thank goodness he is in the American League now. After a home run in last night’s game Vladimir Guerrero, the AL player of the Week runner-up this week, crushed two more homers in the Angels 6-2 win over the Phillies. Guerrero went 2-3 with those two home runs and drove in two for the Halos (45-30). The game was a pitcher’s duel all the way up to the seventh inning with Joe Saunders (11-3) continuing to pitch deep into games and Brett Myers (3-9) had a solid start as well. Saunders only gave up two earned runs through seven innings of work while picking up his 11 th win of the season. Myers on the other hand went seven and two thirds of an inning but he gave up a costly two run shot to Erick Aybar in the eighth that ended his night. He struck out seven and gave up four earned and dropped his ninth game of the year. Chase Utley was given a rare night off and Ryan Howard struck out twice and went 0-4. Once again the Phils could not deliver when they had ducks on the pond. In the ninth inning the Phillies had two on in the ninth with nobody out and could not get a run home. This cannot continue or the Phillies will lose their hold on the NL East very quickly with the Marlins fast approaching. Cole Hamels (7-4) will pitch tomorrow against Jered Weaver (6-7).

In the finale of this three game set the Angels (46-30) and Phillies (42-35) battled and once again the Phillies could not score runs as they lost 3-2. The Halos got just enough run support for Jered Weaver (7-7) with a 2 run home run by Casey Kotchman to get them the win. Cole Hamels (7-5) pitched a good game giving up three earned on seven hits through seven inning, but it was not enough as he drops his fifth game of the year. Not enough hitting for the Phillies as Chase Utley got one hit off of Weaver and Ryan Howard got two, but nobody else stepped up for the Phils who have now lost their last four series since sweeping the Braves in Atlanta. Weaver pitched five and a third innings while only giving up one earned and striking out six. Torii Hunter had two hits to lead the Halos.

Next up the Phillies travel to Oakland Tuesday to battle with the Athletics on the west coast. The Phillies really need to start swinging the bats as the pitching has done fairly well. Their lead on the NL East is shrinking and this is a very competitive division, so someone has to step up and snap this team out of their slump. They have lost 7 of 9 overall. The Athletics have come in winning 6 of their last 9 games. The pitching probables are as follows:

  • J. Moyer (7-4) 4.09 ERA vs. J. Blanton (3-10) 4.81 ERA
  • K. Kendrick (6-3) 5.06 ERA vs. G. Smith (4-5) 3.51 ERA
  • A. Eaton (2-5) 4.94 ERA vs. R. Harden (4-0) 2.44 ERA


By Andrew Nuscis
Philadelphia Phillies & Tampa Bay Rays Correspondent

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