Phils Retake First with Monster Fourth

Johan Santana is one of the more dominant pitchers in the National League. But against the Phillies, he is nothing more than a batting practice pitcher. The Phillies teed off on Santana in their nine-run fourth inning as they went on and won 11-5 Sunday night on ESPN.

Jamie Moyer was decent but unimpressive. He allowed a three-run homer in the first to David Wright and a two-run blast to Rod Barajas in the fourth. His grand total was five runs allowed in six innings off six hits, no walks, and two strike outs.

Santana wishes he had a day like Moyer. He got yanked with two outs in the fourth, allowing 10 runs on eight hits and two walks. He also allowed four home runs.

Shane Victorino capped off his nice series with his single and grand slam. Ryan Howard was also a force at the plate with three hits and a homer. Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, and Jayson Werth all had multi-hit games.

The fourth inning was a special one indeed. With the Phillies trailing 5-2, Utley led off with a double but Santana quickly got the next two outs. That’s when it got interesting. Raul Ibanez hit an RBI single to make it 5-3 and Juan Castro followed up with a single of his own. After Carlos Ruiz walked, Charlie Manuel stuck with Moyer and let him bat. Moyer walked with a full count to make it a 5-4 game.

The bases were still loaded for Victorino, who drilled Santana’s offering to deep left field for the grand slam, blowing the game open for an 8-5 Phillies lead. Polanco followed-up with a single and Utley hit a two-run homer to make it 10-5. Santana got yanked but the Phillies tacked on one more run to take an 11-5 lead.

Not only was it huge winning this series and getting back into first but it was also satisfying seeing the Mets brutally embarrassed on national TV. The Phillies offense looks like it has finally awaken and what great timing with a four game series against the Cardinals coming up.

Doubles: Utley (7), Werth (12), Howard (7). HR: Polanco (3), Utley (7), Howard (5), Victorino (5).

WP: Moyer (3-2). LP: Santana (3-2)

Boxscore.

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Joe Blanton will be making his season debut tomorrow against the Cardinals. Hopefully Big Joe can shake off the rust early and pitch well against one of the better offenses in the NL.

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