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Drew’s Homer Sinks Eaton, Phils

Stephen Drew’s three-run homer in the fifth inning turned out to be the difference in the Diamondbacks’ 6-4 win over the Phillies last night. The Phils made it a little closer toward the end, but couldn’t come all the way back from a hole dug by Adam Eaton.

Eaton pitched poorly in the fourth inning, giving up five runs and letting a 2-1 lead slip away. The crucial moment came when Eaton walked pitcher Randy Johnson — not a good hitter at all — on four pitches. With two outs two batters later, Drew laced the bomb that gave the D-Backs the win. If he doesn’t hit that homer, it’s 3-2 D-Backs, and the Phils late comeback would’ve won the game.

Jayson Werth and Eric Bruntlett hit homers for the good guys. Bruntlett also knocked in Shane Victorino with an RBI double. The substitute shortstop has been on a tear as of late; while his average is at a paltry .240, he has been at least a suitable fill-in for the superior Jimmy Rollins, who could be back this weekend.

While it’s not time to completely throw Eaton out to pasture again, there is definite cause for concern. His ERA has ballooned to 5.63; he doesn’t look as disgustingly bad as last season, but one or two more starts where he surrenders more than three or four runs will mean possible demotion from the rotation. While Kris Benson may not be ready for his big league return until June, prospects Carlos Carrasco, Antonio Bastardo and James Happ could slide into the fifth-starter role for a start or two, as cringe-inducing as the whole possibility seems.

Still, we all must remember one inning sunk Eaton. He deserves another fair shot.

Quickly, plays to remember: Pedro Feliz’ horrible baserunning on a misplay by Connor Jackson led to him being thrown out at second with no outs; Ryan Howard, yet again, striking out in a big spot late in the game.

Associated Press photo

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