The runs needed to come for Joe Blanton and that they did.
Making his fourth start of the season, Blanton went out and did his job while the offense did theirs, leading the Phillies to a 5-2 win Saturday night. The win evened the four-game weekend series up at one apiece.
It was the fourth time in five games the Phillies scored more than two runs, coming after a 16-game start that saw them do the feat only six times.
Besides pitching a quality start, Blanton did his part at the plate as well. In the 4th inning, Blanton extended the inning for the Phillies with his two-out walk to load the bases.
Jimmy Rollins, who has struggled all season and was already penciled-in as a sure out, came up in the clutch, driving in two on a double to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead.
The hit capped off a four-run inning that was started by a two-run single from Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz’s night wasn’t done when he hit a solo homer in the 6th inning, extending the Phillies lead to 5-2.
The hit from Rollins chased Cubs starter Randy Wells with two outs in the 4th. It was the second straight time Wells was bounced early in a start against the Phillies (lasted 2 1/3 in a start last season).
It was enough for Blanton, who went 7 1/3 innings, allowing only two runs on eight hits while striking out eight. He threw 106 pitches, his highest pitch count since September of 2010.
Ruiz finished the night 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs.
First baseman Jim Thome left the game in the 4th inning. After sliding into second base on a ground ball, Thome left with with lower back tightness.
2B: Pence (3), Rollins (3), Victorino (2). HR: Ruiz (3).
WP: Blanton (2-3). LP: Wells (0-1). SV: Papelbon (7).