BIG WINNERS. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
A rotation of aces? It's seemed that way, lately. A little hitting helps, too.
Joe Blanton continued his winning ways, and Placido Polanco achieved a career milestone in a fairly unpredictable way, as the Phillies defeated the visiting Astros by a score of 5-1 on rainy night in Philadelphia.
Blanton and Astros' starter Lucas Harrell swapped zeroes for the first four innings before the Phillies broke through in the fifth on an RBI single from Freddy Galvis, the first of his three base hits on the evening. The Phillies would score two more in the sixth on RBI singles from Carlos Ruiz and Galvis.
Not expected to be a major factor in the last year of his contract, Blanton contributed another stellar performance, cruising through seven-plus, striking out seven and walking one, allowing just a single run on a long home run to Marwin Gonzalez, his first Major League bomb. Blanton's night would be finished after allowing Jose Altuve to single in the following at-bat.
The bullpen then did something that they seemingly hadn't done in awhile -- they held a lead, with Antonio Bastardo striking out both batters he faced, and Chad Qualls retiring the dangerous Carlos Lee on a lineout to right fielder Hunter Pence.
Pence continued to struggle, managing just an infield hit and striking out twice.
Placido Polanco socked a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth, his first of the season, for his 2,000th Major League hit. He would score three runs on the evening. Jonathan Papelbon worked a scoreless ninth, striking out three in the non-save spot, to close things out for the Phillies.
The Phillies look to complete the two game sweep tomorrow evening, and win their third straight game for the first time this season.
Gentle, mellow GameGraph after yon jump...