Ross Gload and his fraying hip is alive!
The league leader in pinch hits, despite entering the game with only four hits in his last 33 at-bats, came through with another timely pinch hit, leading the Phils to a series sweep of the rival Braves with a 3-2 come-from-behind win.
Gload ripped a fair ball down the first base line, just under the glove of a diving Freeman to win the game.
The sweep put the Phils at a commanding 10.5-game lead on the Braves, who are still in strong control of the Wild Card.
Roy Oswalt, who is statistically poor versus Atlanta, was strong tonight in his no-decision. Oswalt pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks while striking out seven. He had a no-hitter through five innings, losing it in the 6th when Michael Bourn led off with a double.
Much like the first two games of the series, the Phils struck first early. Raul Ibanez’s solo home run off Brandon Beachy came in the 2nd. But it was lights out ball for Beachy from that point on, who tossed 5 2/3 two-hit ball with seven strike outs.
The Braves finally got to Oswalt in the 6th, tying the game up on Chipper Jones’ RBI single. The Braves then took the lead an inning later thanks to an RBI single by rookie Freddie Freeman.
But the Phils were able to get back in the game in the 8th, tying it up on an RBI single by Placido Polanco. The win came an inning later when Ibanez drew a walk after being down in the count 0-2 and Carlos Ruiz singled to set up Gload’s winner.
The Braves, who are lauded for their very strong bull pen, had the wheels fall off on a blown save by All-Star Johnny Venters and a 9th-inning melt down by Peter Moylan.
The Phillies had a scare in the 6th, getting hit in the head by a pitch from Braves left-hander Eric O’Flaherty. Utley left the game and there is no word on him but the Phils are optimistic he is fine.
HR: Ibanez (18).
WP: Madson (4-2). LP: Moylan (1-1).