For almost a month, Raul Ibanez had failed to hit the ball out of the park.
But the 39-year-old snapped an 87-at-bat homerless streak with a solo home run as well as tally three hits in the Phils 2-1 win over Boston, winning them the “World Series Preview” series.
Ibanez’s power couldn’t have come at a better time. With John Lackey (7 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, BB, 5 K) on his game for the night, the Phils offense had a hard time plating the guys he put on.
But Ibanez’s RBI single in the 2nd got the ball rolling for Philly. Boston tied it up in the 5th when Lackey ripped an RBI double. Ibanez answered back in the 7th with his solo home run, his first long ball since May 30, to make it a 2-1 game.
Ibanez finished the night 3-for-3 with a double, homer and both of the Phils’ RBIs. He fell a triple shy of the cycle.
Chase Utley had a two-hit game as well, tripling in the 8th. The ball just barely missed leaving the park and bounced around enough for the second baseman to get three bags on the hit.
But the whole night didn’t belong to Ibanez. Vance Worley is once again making a case to hold a permanent spot in the rotation once either Roy Oswalt or Joe Blanton get healthy.
The young right-hander went seven brilliant innings, holding one of the game’s top offenses to one run on five hits and two walks. He struck out five on the night.
“They’ve got four big starters here, right?” said Red Sox first baseman David Ortiz, who went 0-for-4 with a strike out. “Well, he looked like one of them out there tonight. He really looked comfortable. It’s obvious that he’s listening to those big starters over there. It’s rubbing off on him.”
The Phils got all their pitching from the IronPigs once again. After Worley, his fellow under-25-year-olds pitched a 1-2-3 8th and 9th. Michael Stutes plowed through the bottom of the Sox’s order and Antonio Bastardo got Boston’s big guns – Kevin Youkilis, Ortiz and Jared Saltalamacchia – to pop out for his third save on the season.
It was the first series win over Boston since 2003. They will go for the sweep tomorrow.
RARE START — David Ortiz was making a rare start in the field tonight.
After the Red Sox managed only two hits off Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee with Big Papi out of the line up, they put Ortiz in the field.
But they couldn’t take Adrian Gonzalez’s bat out of the line up. In an odd move, they put the first baseman, hitting .357 heading into the night, in right field. It was the second time in Gonzalez’s career that he played in the outfield (the last time was 2005 with Texas).
Gonzalez went 1-for-4 on the night and Ortiz 0-for-4. I guess it really didn’t make a difference.
2B: Victorino (12), Ibanez (16). 3B: Utley (3). HR: Ibanez (9).
WP: Worley (3-1). LP: Lackey (5-7). S: Bastardo (3).