On the birthday of Canada, Ryan Howard decided to crash the party.
The slugging first baseman hit a no-out two-run single in the top of the 9th that gave the Phils a 7-6 lead and eventual win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Howard’s hit bailed out Charlie Manuel, who decided to leave Kyle Kendrick in for the 7th. The move backfired as Kendrick surrendered a two-run homer to Jose Bautista that gave the Jays a 6-5 lead.
The hit was Howard’s second of the game and it came at a key time. After Placido Polanco walked, Chase Utley doubled to put two runners in scoring position for Howard. Howard then looped a hump back liner into center to score both Polanco and Utley to give the Phillies the lead.
Utley, Howard, Shane Victorino and Ben Francisco all had multi-hit games for the Phils with the last three all driving in two runs each.
Bautista had a huge day for Toronto, going 2-for-3 with a double, homer and two RBIs.
The decision to leave Kendrick out wasn’t the easiest. With no clear-cut 7th inning guy on the roster, Manuel had to choose among Kendrick, Juan Perez or Danys Baez, which was basically choosing which method of torture you wanted.
Kendrick gave up six runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out six. But he was taken deep twice, once by Eric Thames and again by Bautista.
2B: Francisco (6), Brown (8), Utley (6). 3B: Victorino (9).
WP: Baez (2-3). LP: Francisco (1-4). S: Bastardo (4).