Suddenly, the Phillies can win at home. As of a week ago, the defending world champs had a putrid 13-22 record before the local fans; after tonight's series-concluding victory over visiting Cincinnati, the team has won six of seven at Citizens Bank Park with three games remaining before the all-star break. Maybe Charlie Manuel should manage to win in next week's contest in St. Louis after all.
After a solid week of strong starts from the Phillies rotation, Jamie Moyer broke the string tonight, surrendering six runs in five innings of work. The Reds took a 3-0 lead in the second; after the Phils closed the gap with two runs in the third inning, including an inside-the-park solo homer from Chase Utley, Moyer allowed a two-out solo shot to Edwin Encarnacion in the fourth. The Phils tied it up on a two-run single from newly minted all-star Shane Victorino that Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips badly misplayed; with two away in the fifth, Phillips redeemed himself with a two-run blast. But the Phillies chased Reds starter Micah Owings in the bottom of the inning, scoring four runs against Owings and two Reds relievers on a Pedro Feliz bloop single, a Paul Bako fielder's choice--a key moment in the game, as the offensively inept backup catcher swung at a pitch near his shoetops on a full count with the bases loaded and one out, grounded it to first, and barely beat Cincy shortstop Paul Janish's relay throw that would have completed the 3-6-3 double play--a Jimmy Rollins single, and a wild pitch from reliever Daniel Herrera. An inning later, Jayson Werth added a solo home run to dead center field against Herrera.
While Moyer earned his team-high eighth win of the season, the real pitching star of the game was reliever Chan Ho Park, who worked three scoreless innings with just one walk and four strikeouts. Park's low-90s fastball had tremendous movement, catching corners and frustrating Reds hitters. Brad Lidge worked around a two-out walk in the ninth to earn his 17th save.
Joe Blanton faces Pirates lefty Zach Duke Friday night.