Coming off a loss to start the series, the Phillies rebounded nicely on the strength of another stellar outing from Cliff Lee and some late-inning heroics from the bats, turning a close game into a 9-2 slaughter, consequently ending the Arizona Diamondbacks' seven-game win streak.
With runners at the corners and no men out in the bottom of the seventh, Wilson Valdez cracked a two run double off the wall in deep center. Hunter Pence and John Mayberry would both score to put the Phillies ahead by a score of 4-2.
Two batters later, after a Brian Schneider sacrifice bunt to move Valdez to third, pinch hitter Ben Francisco would hit his own shot to the warning track, scoring Valdez from third on a sacrifice fly to stretch the lead an extra run.
From there, the Phillies would tack on an extra four runs in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a Cody Ransom throwing error, a Brian Schneider single, a Jimmy Rollins sacrifice and a Shane Victorino double.
In relief of Cliff Lee, Antonio Bastardo and Ryan Madson would combine for a scoreless eighth and ninth to close out the ballgame and secure the victory before what was reported on the broadcast as the largest crowd of the season at Citizens Bank Park.
As for the early scoring, Jimmy Rollins would open things up for the Phillies by going yard off Diamondback starter Joe Saunders on his first pitch of the ballgame. One inning later, John Mayberry would single to center to score Hunter Pence and tie the game at 2-2.
Filling in for Raul Ibanez in right, it was a solid night for Mayberry, who made a fantastic read on Valdez' seventh inning double to score all the way from first. John took off practically on contact and crossed plate not far behind the Hunter Pence, who began with a 180-foot advantage. He finished the evening with a run, three hits and an RBI, giving supporters additional motivation in calling for his increased presence in the lineup.
On the mound for the Phils, Cliff Lee would work through seven innings before getting pulled in favor of the pinch hitting Ben Francisco. Despite giving up a two-run home run to recently called-up Paul Goldschmidt and looking a bit shaky early on, Lee would settle in to retire twelve straight batters. Believe or not, Cliff's two run, three hit, seven strikeout performance actually "hurt" his numbers in the month of August. Per Jayson Stark's Twitter feed:
Cliff Lee this month: 24 innings, 14 hits, 25 whiffs, only 2 runs on Goldschmidt's bomb tonight.
Hard to believe he could do much better than his absurd numbers in the month of June, but he's clearly trying.
Unfortunately, it wasn't all good news for the Phillies Wednesday night as Ryan Howard appeared in a great deal of pain after his final at bat of the evening. Though he would stay in the game, all did not look right. After the game, Howard would reveal that he was suffering from a "hand cramp." David Murphy is now reporting via Twitter that:
"Howard said there is still some discomfort in his hand, doesn't know if it is a cramp or what. Didn't seem concerned."
Hopefully, the alleged cramp is just a cramp and the Big Piece stay healthy down the stretch.
We'll find out tomorrow when the Phils take the field for the rubber match of this three game set at 7:05 when Vance Worley squares off Arizona ace Ian Kennedy. Enjoy your night, guys.