John Mayberry Jr. singled with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth after Jonathan Papelbon‘s blew his fifth save to grab a 4-3 victory for the Phillies. The win puts the Phillies at 48-48 entering the All-Star break and, coupled with today’s Braves loss, puts them just 6.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East race. The 48-48 mark is 6.5 game better than last year’s 37-50 at the All-Star break and is six games ahead of last year’s 42-54 pace through 96 games played.
Papelbon Wastes Fine Hamels Outing
Cole Hamels notched his third straight quality start, scattering eight hits in eight innings pitched, walking none and giving up just two earned while striking out seven. Hamels benefited from a first inning, two-run RBI double from Dom Brown and helped his own cause with an RBI single in the fourth. Hamels was en route to his third straight win, handing the 3-2 game over to Papelbon in the ninth. Papelbon allowed Dayan Viciedo to reach via single and Viciedo’s pinch runner Blake Tekotte stole second. Josh Phegley singled Tekotte home to knot the game at three. After a scoreless bottom of the ninth and top of the tenth, Chase Utley doubled in the bottom of the tenth off of former IronPig David Purcey. Purcey would intentionally walk Jimmy Rollins to face Brown. Brown advanced both runners on a fielder’s choice and Darin Ruf was intentionally walked. Mayberry singled up the middle to win the game 4-3.
.500 at Last
The Phillies are now 6.5 back of the NL East lead for the first time since June 22, ending a ten game homestand with seven wins and reached .500 for the first time since June 7. The Phillies sit just 5.5 back of the Cincinnati Reds with just the Nationals (0.5 games) and the Dodgers (0.5 games as of press time) in between. The Phillies will resume their season on Friday July 19 when the Phillies start a tough, nine-game road trip at Citi Field.