Phillies 1B Ryan Howard watches his 4th inning solo bomb leave the park off Aaron Cook. It was the first of Howard's two home runs. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Kyle Kendrick quite possibly made his last start on the season for the Phils, barring any sort of set-back by a pitcher.
With Roy Oswalt ready to take his spot back in the rotation, Kendrick wanted to give the Phils one more little treat before he likely retakes his seat back in the Phillies bull pen. The right-hander was dealing as the Phils shut out the Rockies, 5-0, to take the series from Colorado.
Tonight’s win was the 70th win on the season for the Phils, who at 70-39, boast the best record in baseball. With the Braves falling to the Nationals for a second straight time, the Phillies expanded their division lead by eight games.
Kendrick got some support in the 1st. Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Shance Victorino. Rollins was driven in by Chase Utley on a ground out to make it a 1-0 game. Two batters later, Hunter Pence ripped a double into the gap in left-center, scoring Victorino to make it 2-0.
That would be all the offense Kendrick needed but the Phillies gave him two more runs in the 4th. Ryan Howard ripped a solo home run into the right-center stands to make it a 3-0 game. Three batters later, Brian Schneider drove home Raul Ibanez on a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
Kendrick was outstanding, striking out a career-high seven while allowing four hits and two walks in eight shut out innings of work. He tossed 117 pitches, 72 for strikes. Kendrick even had a single in the top of the 7th, a blooper up the middle to lead things off.
Kendrick tried to bat in the top of the 9th, walking into the dug out and grabbing his helmet, gloves and bat and waited in the on-deck circle before being called back in. Can’t fault him for trying, right?
Rockies starter Aaron Cook’s night didn’t go as well as Kendrick’s. Cook lasted only four innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk while managing to strike out only two.
Hunter Pence gave the Phillies the type of offense they come to expect from the right-handed hitter this season and the many to follow. He doubled twice in the game, driving in a run. Howard hit two home runs in the game, the second coming in the 8th inning. It was his second multi-homer game of the year and he now has 83 RBIs on the season with his two tonight.
2B: Pence 2 (29). HR: Howard 2 (23).
WP: Kendrick (6-5). LP: Cook (2-6).