The offense fought valiantly but could not overcome a night of brutal pitching, twice cutting multi-run deficits to a single run, only to see the pitching staff promptly fritter it away, as the Twins benefited also benefited from some good breaks en route to an 11-7 defeat of the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies now sit 9.5 games out of first place for the first time since the end of the 2006 season.
The Phillies started the game doing one of the things they've done best this season: Failing to capitalize on early baserunners, with Jimmy Rollins reaching on a single, his first of four hits on the night, and Juan Pierre walking, only to see Hunter Pence ground into a double play. Jim Thome would ground out into the shift to end the threat.
The Twins would start their scoring barrage immediately, with Denard Span leading off the game with a home run off starter Kyle Kendrick, who was truly terrible, allowing six earned runs in four innings. The Twins would lead the rest of the way, taking an early lead of 5-0 in the second, a lead the Phillies would cut to 5-4 with a four run fourth inning, topped off by a "double" by Jimmy Rollins on a two out bloop down the left field line that was dropped by Josh Willingham. The Twins would quickly extend the lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the inning, then 8-4 in the fifth, despite Trevor Plouffe clearly missing
second third base while scoring from first on a Jamey Carroll double.
The Phillies would cut the lead to one again in the sixth thanks to an RBI groundout from John Mayberry and a two-run opposite field single from Thome, only to see the bullpen allow the Twins to put the game away again with a Willingham solo shot off Joe Savery in the bottom of the sixth, and two more runs in the seventh off B.J. Rosenberg and Jake Diekman.
A bit of "controversy" in the seventh, as Phillies third baseman Mike Fontenot reached into the stands for a two out foul pop from Ben Revere, only to see a young fan in Phillies gear come away with the ball. Given new life, Revere then stroked an RBI single to extend the lead to 11-7. Even though the ball was clearly in the stands, expect chuckleheads to complain about it forever.
The Phillies have lost nine of the last ten games. Yippie!