Phillies, Howard Get Back On Track With 3-1 Victory Over Pirates

By SAMUEL BOTWINICK  |  Staff Writer
@avdbkr20samuel

The Pirates, who were red-hot coming into Tuesday night's ball game, had their nine-game winning streak snapped courtesy of the Phightin' Phillies 3-1 at PNC Park.  


The Phillies started the game the same way they played on Sunday, with key offensive missed opportunities.  In the top of the second inning, Domonic Brown led off with a single and attempted to advance to third on Travis Snider's error in right field, but was gunned down before he could make it there.  Delmon Young then grounded out to short stop, which would have scored Brown.


In addition to their offensive struggles, the Phillies have made too many mental mistakes, which is precisely the reason why they are below .500.  In the top of the ninth, in a crucial situation, John Mayberry Jr., who came on as a defensive replacement for D. Young in the ninth, led off the inning with a double but was carelessly picked off second.  The next batter, Ben Revere, grounded out, which would have advanced Mayberry to third.  Right after that, Carlos Ruiz hit a single to left, which would have scored Mayberry.   


The Phillies, however, appeared to have been able to turn the offensive frustrations corner when they started the scoring in the top of the sixth.  Chase Utley started the offensive surge when he reached on a fielder's choice.  He advanced to second on Jimmy Rollin's single to right, and scored on Ryan Howard's deep single to left center, which also sent Rollins to third on the play.  Brown then drove Rollins home on a sacrifice fly to center.  The next batter, D. Young, drilled a double to the left center field gap, scoring Howard all the way from first, and advanced D. Young to third on a wild throw to the plate, giving the Phillies a 3-0 advantage.

Howard had been mired in an 0-22 slump prior to that hit.

The Pirates countered in the bottom of the sixth when Garrett Jones went deep to center to cut the deficit to two, 3-1 Phillies.


Jonathan Pettibone pitched solidly for the Phillies, tossing 5 2/3 innings, surrendering one earned run on three hits, while striking out six. 

Brandon Cumpton, who was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to fill the void of Jeff Locke, pitched decently, considering the circumstances.  He surrendered three earned runs on six hits, while punching out three.  Locke, the supposed starter for Tuesday night's match up, was unable to make the start due to exhaustion from bullpen work in Sunday's extra inning affair.  Locke, however, will make the start tomorrow for the Pirates. 

The Phillies will look to win consecutive games tomorrow, which would be their first time since June 25-26, when they won back to back games against the Padres.  John Lannan will take the mound for the Phillies.


-  Samuel Botwinick is a staff writer for the Philadelphia Baseball ReviewContact him at sbotwinick@philadelphiabaseballreview.com or @avdbkr20samuel on Twitter.

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