Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
By SAMUEL BOTWINICK  |  Staff Writer

The Phillies have had trouble winning games this year when they score three runs or less, as well as catching up when they are behind by more than three runs.  Thursday night was just another example of this pattern as the Phillies were unable to come back from an early deficit, falling to the Red Sox 9-2 at Citizens Bank Park.

Prior to this game, the Red Sox had scored in the first inning every game this series so far.  Thursday night proved to be no different as the Red Sox applied the pressure early in the top of the first when Dustin Pedroia grounded to second to score Jacoby Ellsbury from third.  It was Pedroia's fourth time this series that he drove in a run in the first, and Ellsbury's fourth time this series that he scored in the first.  Two batters later, Mike Carp singled to right, scoring Daniel Nava.  After striking out Stephen Drew, Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled to right, scoring David Ortiz and Carp to push the Red Sox ahead 4-0.

The Phillies countered in the bottom of the first when Cesar Hernandez picked up his first hit in a Phillies' uniform, and was driven home on Delmon Young's homer to right center to cut the lead to two, 4-2 Red Sox.

The Red Sox added to their lead in the top of the sixth when pinch-hitter, Jonny Gomes, hit a solo shot to left center to increase their lead to 5-2.

To put the Sox even further ahead, Ortiz homered to right in the top of the seventh to give them a 6-2 advantage.

The Phillies this season have had many missed opportunities with runners in scoring position, which would explain why they are still trying to once again reach that coveted .500 mark.

The Phillies wasted a crucial opportunity to catch up in the bottom of the fourth when, with the bases loaded and one out, Erik Kratz grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Jonathan Pettibone struggled early for the Phillies, surrendering four earned runs in the first inning, while striking out five, but later bounced back, shutting out the Red Sox for the next four innings.  It was his first time surrendering more than three runs in a Phillies uniform, and was also his first loss of the season.

The Phillies' bullpen has failed to maintain leads, especially when games are seemingly out of reach.  Tonight was a case and point.  Jeremy Horst surrendered two earned runs in two innings, and Chad Durbin widened the gap further, allowing three earned runs in one inning.

Franklin Morales pitched effectively for the Red Sox, tossing five innings, surrendering two earned runs on four hits, while striking out two. 

The Phillies look to bounce back when they take on the Brewers tomorrow night at 7:05.  Cole Hamels will once again aim for his second win of the season.  He will be opposed by Yovani Gallardo.  

-  Samuel Botwinick is a staff writer for the Philadelphia Baseball Review.  Contact him at or @avdbkr20samuel on Twitter.

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis