The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Julio Lugo has been trouble since joining the Cards, and today was no different. He doubled and scored on Matt Holliday’s sacrifice fly. Blanton was able to avoid further damage and escaped a potential big inning.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Phillies scored the same way the Cardinals did; a Ryan Howard sacrifice fly tied the game at one. The Phillies had a chance for a big inning, but the umpire interfered with the catcher as Shane Victorino attempted to steal. Victorino was sent back to first. The run scored anyway, but it could have turned into more.
After making a spectacular diving catch by readjusting himself, Chase Utley’s two-run home run gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead in the third. Utley was “the man” with a 3-for-4, 2 RBI day. On his T-shirt day, Victorino (2-for-4) scored on the sac fly and Utley’s homer.
The Cards inched closer on Mark Derosa’s solo home run to make it 3-2. But the Phillies gave Blanton plenty of run support, via two-run shots.
In the fifth, Ryan Howard hit a two-run moon shot off the centerfield bricks. Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run bomb to right in the sixth. Raul Ibanez finished it off with a seventh inning opposite field two-run blast.
Big Joe didn’t need all those runs as he settled down and dominated. He pitched eight innings, allowed two earned runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out six, including the last three batters he faced (Lugo, Albert Pujols, and Matt Holliday). Blanton has been better each time around, and today he was brilliant, controlling a very strong Cardinal offense.
Two was today’s lucky number. Two-run home runs, and two runs allowed by Blanton. And two wins against St. Louis.