With a 5-2 lead and Joe Blanton steam rolling his way through the Pirates, it looked as if the Phillies would manage a split with the Pirates as they head limping into the All-Star break with seven games left. Well we were all unfortunately wrong. The Pirates used a six-run seventh inning to power their way past the Phillies, taking the four-game series by winning the final game 8-5.
Blanton, Jose Contreras, and even Mike Zagurski (who inherited two of Contreras’ three earned runs) were all responsible for the melt-down. With runners on second and third and one out, Charlie Manuel yanked his starting pitched for Jose Contreras. Contreras would then allow two of Blantons runs and three more of his own until Zagurski came in to seal the break in the dam after giving up a two-run double. Zags finished with an inning of work and three strike outs after the hit he allowed.
Garrett Jones drove in three runs for the Pirates while Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez each had a pair of hits. One of Alvarez’s hits was a solo homer to lead-off the seventh. That blast started the rally for the Bucs.
Dane Sardinha hit his third home run of the season for the Phillies. He’s played pretty well in place of the injure Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider. Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez continue to be positive factors in the Phillies offense with a couple of hits and an RBI each.
2B: Francisco (7), Victorino (11). HR: Sardinha (3).
WP: Meek (4-2) LP: Contreras (3-3). S: Dotel (19).