TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Oswalt, Phils recover from rough first

Roy Oswalt struck out five in seven innings Sunday afternoon in Philly. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Roy Oswalt has become very hittable this season. But after a 1st inning that looked like it would lead to very a long day for the 33-year-old righty, Oswalt settled in beautifully.

Oswalt pitched seven innings and struck out five, snapping a six-game streak of four or less strike outsas the Phils overcame a three-run 1st by the Cubs to win, 4-3.

The three runs were the only runs Oswalt allowed in the game. He allowed only one hit and two walks in the remaining six innings to keep the team in it.

After allowing an RBI single to Starlin Castro, Oswalt was hit hard for a two-run home run by Aramis Ramirez, giving Chicago a 3-0 lead.

The Phils got a run back in the bottom half when Ryan Howard hit an RBI double off the base of the center field wall to make it 3-1. But the Phils stranded the bases loaded with one out when Raul Ibanez struck out and Carlos Ruiz lined out to third.

The Phils chipped away again in the bottom of the third, loading the bases with one out and squeezing another run out of Cubs starter Doug Davis.

But it wasn’t until the 7th when Howard struck again, hitting a two-run single into center field to give the Phils a 4-3 lead.

Howard finished his day 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Chase Utley had two hits and the only other extra base hit, a double in the 7th that set him up as the winning run on Howard’s two-run single.

Michael Stutes has turned himself into a very strong set up man, blowing through the Cubs in the 8th with two strike outs and improving his K/9 to 10.1.

Ryan Madson allowed a hit and struck out one in the 9th for his 15th save in 16 chances. It was his first save chance since blowing the game on Thursday.

2B: Howard (15), Utley (3).

WP: Oswalt (4-4). LP: Marshall (3-1). S: Madson (15)

Boxscore.

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