Big Piece Delivers
The Big Piece got it going in the Big Apple.
Ryan Howard’s two-run pinch double on Sunday sent the Phillies on their way to their first three-game sweep in Citi Field since last September. Howard finished the three days with seven RBI. I his last five games, he now has driven in 10 runs.
From Elias: Howard is now hitting .421 (16-for-38) as a pinch-hitter in his career, the highest such batting average among all active players with at least 25 pinch hit at bats.
Cole ended his spin with his first win and the first for the Phillies when he’s pitched this season. The Phils were 0-5. Down in Tampa, LHP David Price won his first game, ending the same streak for the Rays, 0-5. Cole and Price are among the elite left-handers in the game these days.
Earlier this month, the Phillies took two of three from the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. They scored 17 runs in that series. Following a day off, the offense went into hibernation, scoring a total of 10 runs in their next six games (four losses).
Fresh from scoring 18 runs in New York this weekend, the Phillies have a day off Monday before starting a two-game, interleague series in Cleveland on Tuesday night. How will the offense respond this time?
Minor League Report
**Lehigh Valley won 2 of 3, including a 5-home run game that crushed Louisville on Sunday, 12-7. 1B Darin Ruf, 4-5, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 5 RBI.
**Reading’s Jesse Biddle turned in a second straight dominant start on Sunday but didn’t get the decision in a 2-1, 12-inning win. Biddle allowed 0 runs on 1 hit in 6 innings, 3 walks and 10 strikeouts. That’s 26 strikeouts in his last 2 starts. After New Hampshire scored in the top the 12th, the Fightin’ Phils tied the game on a bases-loaded walk and won it when the next hitter was hit by a pitch, forcing in the winning run. NH had won the 1st 2 games of the weekend.
**Clearwater won 2 of 3. 3B Maikel Franco had a big weekend, 5-13, 3 homers, 10 RBI. He hit 2 homers and drove in 7 on Friday night.
**Lakewood lost, 14-10, at Asheville on Friday night but was rained out the next two days.
April 29, 1954—RHP Robin Roberts pitches one-hitter, 4-0, in Milwaukee. Lone hit was by Del Crandall, a double in the third inning.
April 29, 1981—Needing three strikeouts to reach 3,000, LHP Steve Carlton strikes out the side in the first inning against the Expos in FOUR minutes at Veterans Stadium. 3B Tim Wallach as #3,000.
For more Phillies phlashbacks this week, visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni.