Redemption: After striking out four times, Howard comes up clutch in Phillies 4-2 win

Take your gold sombrero and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

After being punched out four times, first baseman Ryan Howard hit a two-RBI double in the top of the eleventh to give the Phillies the 4-2 win, and their tenth straight win at Petco park to improve their record to 14-6.

For Howard it was the biggest slap in the face. With two outs, the San Diego Padres decided to intentionally walk shortstop Jimmy Rollins to get to Howard in the top of the eleventh. While Howard is the cleanup hitter, he had struck out in all four of his previous at bats, and had struck out eight times in this series. On the other hand, Jimmy Rollins was 1-3 with a run scored and an RBI.

While the move made sense, Howard must have took it personal as he hit a deep fly ball to opposite field that fell in for a double, scoring pinch hitter Placido Polanco and Rollins to give the Phils the 4-2 lead.

Ryan Madson came in the bottom of the inning and picked up his second save on the season in as many games.

Joe Blanton pitched a solid seven innings, allowing just two runs on eight hits. In the bottom of the first, Padres shortstop Jason Bartlett tripled to deep center to score centerfielder Cameron Maybin to make it 1-0 Padres. This put runners at the corners with no outs, but Blanton worked out of the jam without giving up another runner to cross the plate.

The Phillies wouldn’t score off Padres starter Tim Stauffer until the top of the fourth when Ben Francisco tripled to score Rollins to tie it at one.

In the bottom of the fifth the Padres would take the lead again on catcher Nick Hundley’s double to left to score Maybin to make it 2-1.

The Phillies responded the very next inning as Rollins reached on an infield single to score Pete Orr from second base to tie it at 2. While the Phillies had another rough day at the plate, scoring under five runs for the twelfth straight game, the bullpen was stellar. Danys Baez, Antonio Bastardo, and Kyle Kendrick didn’t allow a single base runner from the eighth inning through the tenth.

The Phillies love playing at Petco Park. It was their 10th straight win in San Diego.

The Phils have also made the most of their lack of scoring, going 8-4 in their last 12 games despite scoring no more than four runs in each game.

The Phillies look to sweep the four game series tomorrow at 4:05 PM as Roy Halladay takes the hill.

2B: Orr (1), Howard (6), Hundley (3). 3B: Francisco (1), Bartlett (1)

WP: Kendrick (1) LP: Qualls (2) S: Madson (2).

Boxscore.

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