Blast Off: Howard blasts ‘Stros to complete sweep

It only took 19 innings for the first ball to leave Citizens Bank Park. And it was delivered to the season by none other than Big Brown.

Phillies slugger Ryan Howard rips a three-run homer in the first inning of the Phils 7-3 win over Houston. The Phils swept Houston to start the season 3-0. (AP Photo/Barbara Johnston)

Ryan Howard smoked a three-run homer in the first inning and fell a triple shy of the cycle as the Phillies completed the sweep of the Houston Astros with a 7-3 win today.

Roy Oswalt took the mound for the Phils, pitching a solid six innings to get his first win of the season. Oswalt allowed two runs in six innings on five hits, a walk (the first allowed by a starter) and striking out six.

Ben Francisco continued his hot start, ripping a solo blast two batters after Howard in the first. He finished his day with three hits and two runs scored. He also made a spectacular play in right field early in the game, crashing into the wall and knocking out part of the out-of-town scoreboard.

Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco each had two hits. Both of Polanco’s hits were doubles.

Shane Victorino pinch-hit for Oswalt in the bottom of the sixth. He didn’t start as a result of experiencing soreness in his left calf in yesterday’s game. He ripped an RBI single past second baseman Bill Hall.

Michael Martinez got the start ahead of Victorino. He went 1-for-4, getting his first hit and RBI in the bottom of the sixth.

The Phillies pounded Astros starter Bud Norris, who wasn’t even slated to start. With a late scratch to J.A. Happ yesterday, Norris pitched, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk while striking out seven in four innings of work.

This was the first 3-0 home start for the Phillies since 1970.

The Phillies starters Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Oswalt combined for a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings. They allowed six runs on 14 hits, one walk and 23 strike outs.

The Phillies are off tomorrow and will start up a three-game home series against the New York Mets. Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton will make their season debuts.

2B: Polanco 2 (2), Howard (1). HR: Howard (1), Francisco (1).

WP: Oswalt (1-0). LP: Norris (0-1).


2 thoughts on “Blast Off: Howard blasts ‘Stros to complete sweep

  1. philsfaninnewyork

    Not only is it the first 3-0 home start since 1970, but the first 3 game home sweep to start the season since 1899!!

    I don’t mean to nitpick, but you forgot to link the boxscore.

    1. I actually just realized that as I was coming to read your comment haha. Thanks man

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