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Howard, Phillies down Pirates to avoid sweep

Jun 5, 2011 - 11:44 PM Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Ryan Howard had two hits and three RBI to lead Philadelphia past Pittsburgh, 7-3, and avoid a three-game sweep.

Roy Halladay (8-3) threw seven strong innings, allowing two runs and scattering six hits and a walk while fanning six as Philadelphia snapped its four-game losing streak.

"I'd rather keep winning streaks going, but I think you try to do the best job you can regardless. It takes everybody to do it," Halladay said about the Phillies ending their losing streak.

James McDonald (3-4) allowed three runs on three hits and five walks in four-plus innings. He also hit two batters and threw two wild pitches in the Pirates' second loss in four games.

The Pirates jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead when Neil Walker hit a two-run home run with two outs in the first.

Chase Utley and Howard worked back-to-back walks to lead off the fourth and moved up to second and third on a passed ball by catcher Dusty Brown before Raul Ibanez hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field to bring in Utley. The run was Ibanez's 1,000th RBI of his 16-year career.

Carlos Ruiz was then hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with one out before Domonic Brown hit a hard grounder up the middle that bounced off of the leg of the second-base umpire. The ball was declared dead so no one was able to advance and the bases were loaded. Wilson Valdez then grounded into a double play to end the inning and keep the score 2-1.

Halladay, Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco all walked on 12 straight balls to load the bases in the fifth inning with no outs. McDonald was then replaced by Chris Resop.

"I lost command, really. I didn't have good feel, got behind hitters, walked guys and those walks really killed me," said McDonald.

Utley came up next and grounded to first. Lyle Overbay threw home for the force out and Howard followed with a sacrifice fly to center that plated Victorino, after a 13-pitch at bat that included eight foul balls. Ibanez was intentionally walked to load the bases again and Ruiz was hit by a pitch for the second time to bring in Polanco. Brown grounded out to first to end the inning and keep the score 3-2.

Halladay singled with one out in the sixth off of reliever Evan Meek, moved to second on a groundout by Victorino and scored on a single by Polanco to extend the Phillies' lead.

Howard's RBI single in the eighth brought home Polanco and made the score 5-2.

Jose Contreras started the eighth for the Phillies and allowed a one-out double to Josh Harrison, who then scored on a single by Andrew McCutchen.

Philadelphia added a run, plus another, in the ninth when Valdez and pinch- hitter Ben Francisco singled to put men on the corners with no outs before Victorino hit a third straight single to bring home Valdez. Three batters later, Howard singled up the middle to plate Francisco and make it a 7-3 contest.

Game Notes

The Phillies are now 13-22 all-time at PNC Park...Philadelphia in now 16-14 on the road in 2011...The Pirates went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base while the Phillies stranded 16...McDonald threw 42 of his 79 pitches for strikes.






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  • PHILADELPHIA: 7
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  • Ryan Howard single to center scored Ben Francisco with two out. On the play, Shane Victorino advances to third. Runners on first and third with Raul Ibanez due up.

    Phillies 7, Pirates 3  Top 9, 2 OutsJun 5 5:00 PM


  • Shane Victorino single to center scored Wilson Valdez with none out. On the play, Ben Francisco advances to second. Runners on first and second with Placido Polanco due up.

    Phillies 6, Pirates 3  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 5 4:56 PM


  • Andrew McCutchen single to left scored Josh Harrison with one out. Runner on first and Neil Walker due up.

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  • Ryan Howard single to center scored Placido Polanco with one out. On the play, Chase Utley advances to second. Runners on first and second with Raul Ibanez due up.

    Phillies 5, Pirates 2  Top 8, 1 OutJun 5 4:20 PM
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  • Placido Polanco single to left scored Roy Halladay with two out. Runner on first and Chase Utley due up.

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  • Carlos Ruiz hit-by-pitch scored Placido Polanco with two out. Bases loaded and Domonic Brown due up.

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  • Ryan Howard sacrifice fly to center scored Shane Victorino with two out. On the play, Chase Utley advances to second and Placido Polanco advances to third. Runners on second and third with Raul Ibanez due up.

    Phillies 2, Pirates 2  Top 5, 2 OutsJun 5 3:06 PM
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  • Raul Ibanez sacrifice fly to center scored Chase Utley with one out. On the play, Ryan Howard advances to third. Runner on third and Carlos Ruiz due up.

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  • Neil Walker two-out, two-run Home Run (8) to right scored Xavier Paul. Lyle Overbay due up.

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  • PHILADELPHIA: 0
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