Timely hitting and solid pitching was just good enough for the Arizona Diamondbacks to slip past the Phillies, 4-2, Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. A pair of solo homers from Justin Upton and Jason Kubel were the highlights as Arizona continued its hot streak with its fourth straight victory and sixth in the last seven games.
The loss dropped the Phillies to 47-59 and 16 games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East.
Thrust into a surprise start, Kyle Kendrick started out strong, but ran out of gas as the game progressed. After retiring nine of the first 10 hitters he faced, Kendrick allowed three runs on five hits and an error.
Ian Kennedy battled through six innings for the Diamondbacks, allowing a pair of runs on seven hits, two walks and a hit batsman. Kennedy needed 108 pitches to get through his six innings, however, it was enough to earn his 10th win of the season.
From the ‘pen
With Kendrick working just four innings, manager Charlie Manuel kept the bullpen corps on their toes. Lefty Jeremy Horst pitched a scoreless inning, followed by a pair of scoreless innings from B.J. Rosenberg. Antonio Bastardo followed with a 1-2-3 eighth inning before turning it over to Josh Lindblom, who gave up a long home run to Kubel in his first appearance in Citizens Bank Park as a Phillie.
Arizona got three straight scoreless innings from Takashi Saito, David Hernandez and J.J. Putz. Putz pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save.
At the plate
Chase Utley belted his sixth home run of the season with one out in the fourth inning and Nate Schierholtz knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth to account for all of the Phillies’ scoring. Otherwise, John Mayberry Jr. had a pair of hits, including a hustling double.
Mayberry appeared to score from second on a single by Kevin Frandsen, but was called out on a play in which the replays showed he beat the throw and the tag.
The Phillies put four runners in scoring position and went 1 for 5 in those situations.
For the D’backs, Upton and Kubel crushed solo homers, while an error by shortstop Jimmy Rollins opened the door for a pair of runs in the fourth inning. All told, the Diamondbacks went 1 for 3 with runners in scoring position and left just two runners on base.
Prior to Friday’s game, the Phillies traded righthanded starter Joe Blanton to the Dodgers for a player to be named later or cash. Blanton was scheduled to start Friday’s game, but instead will fly to Los Angeles and jump into the middle of a pennant race (see story)
To replace Blanton on the 25-man roster, the Philles recalled Rosenberg, who arrived shortly before game time on Friday.
The Phillies and D’backs continue the three-game series on Saturday night when Roy Halladay (4-6, 4.33) takes on lefty Joe Saunders (5-7, 3.62). Halladay is 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA in four career starts against Arizona. He faced the D’backs once last season where he pitched a complete game, whiffed 14 and still got the loss.
Saunders has faced the Phillies four times in his eight big-league seasons, for a 1-2 record and 5.26 ERA. He suffered both of those losses last season.