Phils come up Short Again, lose 3 in a row to Houston
Hitting and Baserunning may have hit a season low, in the Phils 3-2 loss to the Astros 3-2 at Citizens Bank Park. Starting pitcher Roy Halladay went 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, 6 strikeouts.
Down 3-2 in the 7th, the Phils had a potential rally with runners on the corners, but a Ben Francisco fundimental baserunning error would end the inning. The Phils have lost 3 in a row, and have scored 2 runs or less in 6 of their last 7 games.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Humberto Quintero’s RBI single in the seventh inning helped J.A. Happ upend his former teammates, as Houston took another slim 3-2 victory over Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park.
Happ (4-2), who was traded by the Phillies along with two prospects to Houston in exchange for Roy Oswalt prior to the trade deadline, yielded just two runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings for the Astros, who have won the first three meetings in the four-game set.
Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn each hit a solo homer for the victors.
Roy Halladay (16-9) had a personal six-start win streak snapped, as the right- handed ace was touched for three runs in seven frames for the Phils, who stayed 2 1/2 games behind the Braves in the National League East race.
Both starters pitched into the seventh, a much-needed rest for both bullpens after Tuesday’s grueling 16-inning marathon that Houston pulled out, 4-2.
Neither team recorded a hit until Pence crushed a 2-0 fastball into the seats in left-center with two outs in the fourth, breaking Halladay’s scoreless stretch at 19 innings.
The Phillies’ first hit was also a solo blast, as Jayson Werth took Happ deep over the wall in left leading off the fifth.
Bourn got into the act in the sixth with a solo shot to right for just his second home run of the year and first since June 28.
Halladay made up for the mistake with a leadoff single in the bottom half and went to second on a one-out single by Shane Victorino. Placido Polanco then lined a double over Carlos Lee’s head in left to plate Halladay.
Both Victorino and Polanco were stranded, though, and the Astros took the lead again in the seventh, as Chris Johnson doubled with one away and came in two batters later on Quintero’s bloop single to left.
Philadelphia threatened in the bottom half, but with two on and one out, Raul Ibanez, pinch-hitting for Halladay, flew out to center against Tim Byrdak. Then, with Mark Melancon on the hill, Quintero threw behind Ben Francisco at third. The runner stepped on Johnson’s foot at the bag then stepped off and was tagged out for the unorthodox pickoff.
Brandon Lyon hurled a 1-2-3 eighth, then struck out the side in the ninth around Ryan Howard’s two-out, pinch-hit single to pick up his eighth save of the season.
Despite the loss, the Phillies stayed atop the NL Wild Card race with the Giants, who lost an extra-inning game to Cincinnati earlier Wednesday.
The Astros announced pitcher Brian Moehler, sidelined since early July, will have surgery to repair a muscle in his lower abdomen that will end his 2010 season…Halladay had pitched to a 1.37 earned run average over his win streak.