This was probably pretty close to how Ruben Amaro Jr. drew it up last year. Facing Astros ace Roy Oswalt with the chance to sweep an early road series and pick career win #150, Roy Halladay was at his efficient best in a complete-game victory Sunday in Houston. On a day when the Phillies lineup finally rested after five straight double-digit hit performances, the Doc kept things under control by limiting the home team to seven hits, all singles, and walking none while striking out eight to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
Jimmy Rollins accounted for half the Phillies' scoring on the first at-bat of the game, homering off Oswalt to give the club an immediate 1-0 lead. An inning later, Carlos Ruiz's groundout plated Raul Ibanez to make it 2-0. But that was it for the day, as Oswalt recovered to work six sharp innings in holding the Phils to five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts. Ryan Howard quadrupled his 2010 strikeout total, fanning three times a day after almost single-handedly carrying the offense in Saturday night's 9-6 win.
It didn't much matter. Halladay was almost flawless until the sixth, then did his best work after two singles and his own error loaded the bases with none out. He induced a double-play grounder from Cory Sullivan that scored Houston's lone run, then popped up Carlos Lee to end the threat. In the seventh, the Astros again started the inning with consecutive singles, and had two men in scoring position with one out. But Halladay recovered to get a hard grounder back to the mound from J.R. Towles and strike out pinch-hitter Jason Michaels. He retired the final six Houston hitters to notch his first complete game as a Phillie, needing all of 111 pitches.
The Phils come home from a very successful 5-1 road trip to make their Citizens Bank Park debut Monday afternoon, as Cole Hamels faces Jason Marquis.