I can hardly believe it myself, but the scoreboard doesn't lie: the Phillies finished the sweep of an interleague series this afternoon with a rain-delayed 12-3 rout of the visiting Cleveland Indians. The Phils chased Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona with five runs in the second and two more in the fifth, then put the game away with another five-run outburst in the sixth. Before it was all over, every starter scored at least one run and all but Ryan Howard notched at least one hit. Placido Polanco led the way with four hits, followed by Chase Utley and Jayson Werth with three each. Dane Sardinha, catching in relief of Brian Schneider, smacked his first career big-league home run.
Just as welcome as the offensive explosion was Joe Blanton's best start of the season. The big right-hander worked 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits, walking none and striking out a season-high eight. The only real blemish on Blanton's line was a two-run homer by former Phils prospect Jason Donald, and at 92 pitches he might have finished the game were it not for a torrential downpour that halted play for more than an hour and a half. When the game finally resumed, newly recalled Nelson Figueroa came in to record the last four outs.
With the White Sox having finished a sweep of the Braves in Chicago, the Phils suddenly find themselves just two and a half games out of first place. They resume the pursuit this weekend "on the road" against the Blue Jays--a series to be played in Citizens Bank Park because of the G-20 summit in Toronto.