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Phillies Nation Perfect Season: Francisco’s game-winning hit lifts Phils to narrow victory over A’s

June 24, 2011 – Phillies 1, Athletics 0

Defense won this game for the Phillies. With both offenses struggling heading into this three-game series, a low scoring game was expected. The first hit of the game didn’t come until the top of the sixth with a line-drive double by Athletics left fielder Hideki Matsui.

Ben Francisco carried a .704 OPS during the 2011 season. (Wikimedia Commons)

Up to that point, the Phillies had multiple miraculous defensive plays to keep the Athletics to zero hits. The most notable play of the game came in the top of the fifth inning. Ryan Howard laid out to stop Jemile Weeks’ hit from going into the outfield, then he flicked it perfectly into the path of Vance Worley as he ran across first base and got the final out of the inning.

The Phillies offense was dormant for most of the game, but they stepped up in the ninth. After Michael Stutes retired the Athletics 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth, the Phillies had to face Brian Fuentes. Shane Victorino was the leadoff batter and was walked by Fuentes. Then, after the Phillies had racked up an out, Domonic Brown had a base hit to right field which allowed Victorino to get into a scoring position. With a ground out by Brian Schneider, the Phillies had runners on second and third with two outs.

The Phillies opted to have Ben Francisco pinch-hit for Stutes. While at the plate, Phillies fans rallied behind him, rising to their feet to cheer Francisco on. Francisco swung and sliced a ground ball that bounced over the head of the third baseman and dribbled into the outfield. Victorino made it home from third with plenty of time to spare. Using the momentum from the late victory, the Phillies would go on to win the series.

Athletics Lineup

  1. Jemile Weeks, second base
  2. Cliff Pennington, shortstop
  3. Ryan Sweeney, center field
  4. Hideki Matsui, left field
  5. Conor Jackson, first base
  6. David Dejesus, right field
  7. Kurt Suzuki, catcher
  8. Scott Sizemore, third base
  9. Guillermo Moscoso, pitcher

Phillies Lineup

  1. Jimmy Rollins, shortstop
  2. Placido Polanco, third base
  3. Chase Utley, second base
  4. Ryan Howard, first base
  5. Shane Victorino, center field
  6. Raul Ibanez, left field
  7. Domonic Brown, right field
  8. Brian Schneider, catcher
  9. Vance Worley, pitcher

You can watch the full game down below or by using this link. You can also watch it on your Smart TV or streaming device with the YouTube app. Just put in “OAK at PHI June 24, 2011” into the search bar and click on the video.

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