Looking to build on his strong start five days earlier in St. Louis when he earned his first victory of the season, Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton delivered a mixed bag on Saturday. His eight innings of work set a single-game high in this season of short and shoddy starts, but the six runs he allowed were far too many in a contest when his opposite number, Javier Vazquez, shut down the Phils lineup with 7 2/3 innings of four-hit, two-run ball while striking out seven.
Vazquez contributed with his bat as well as his arm. After Chase Utley's solo home run, his 10th, tied the score at 1-1 in the fourth inning, Vazquez ripped an 0-2 offering from Blanton for a double with one out in the fifth. A Kelly Johnson double and Yunel Escobar home run later, the Braves led 4-1, and were never in trouble again. Brian McCann slugged a two-run home run--his third of the season, all against the Phillies--in the top of the eighth to make it 6-1; Raul Ibanez finished the scoring with a solo shot, his ninth, in the bottom of the inning.
Brett Myers faces off against Kenshin Kawakami as the series wraps up on Sunday.