for this game

Howard lifts Phils over Pirates; Pence makes Philly debut

Jul 31, 2011 - 6:04 AM Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Hunter Pence made his Philadelphia debut on Saturday, but it was an old stalwart who led the team to victory.

Ryan Howard went 4-for-4 with a solo home run, two doubles, three RBI and a walk to help the Phillies take a 7-4 win over the Pirates.

"He was patient out there and got some good swings," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "He was waiting for the pitches he wanted and when he got them he was able to drive them hard."

His second hit of the game was the 1,000th of his career, and the run he drove in during the at-bat moved him past Pat Burrell for seventh place on the Phillies' RBI list.

Pence, who was acquired from Houston on Friday for four prospects, had a tough start in his highly-anticipated debut. He recorded outs in his first four at- bats, but did hit an RBI single in the eighth to help his new team win for the eighth time in the past 11 games.

Cliff Lee (10-7) pitched into the eighth inning and gave up four runs on eight hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts. He also went 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored. It was his first and only win of July after a dominating June that saw him go 5-0 in five starts and nab National League Pitcher of the Month.

"I thought he did a good job out there and was able to work out of some jams," said Manuel about his starter.

James McDonald (7-5) lost a game for the first time since June 5 as he was tagged for five runs on 10 hits with a pair of walks and five strikeouts over five innings for the Pirates, who have dropped four of five. Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run home run in the loss.

"They've been better than us on the mound, better than us in the batters box and better than us with the gloves on," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. "That's a fantastic club over there, but we're going to come out tomorrow and try to avoid a sweep."

The Pirates got some good news after the game as they acquired first baseman Derrek Lee from the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night. He is batting .246 with 12 homers and 41 RBI this season. Pittsburgh sent minor league first baseman Aaron Baker to Baltimore.

The Phils got on board in the second inning when Howard demolished a 1-0 pitch over the wall in dead center. Pence followed with a grounder up the middle and he appeared to beat the throw to first, but he was ruled out in his first at- bat.

Philadelphia tacked on two more in the third as Jimmy Rollins hit the first pitch he saw into the right-field seats for a solo homer. Shane Victorino then singled and Chase Utley followed with a walk before Howard hit a run-scoring double off the wall in left. Pence then flied out and Raul Ibanez was issued a free pass, but Placido Polanco hit into a fielder's choice to end the frame.

The Pirates got back into the contest in the fourth when Brandon Wood hit a two-out single and Alvarez followed with his third home run of the season.

However, the Phils got the runs back in the fourth when Utley hit a single to right that saw Steve Pearce bobble the ball and score Lee. Howard then singled home Rollins for a 5-2 lead and Pence hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

A double from Carlos Ruiz in the seventh scored Polanco while Neil Walker and Wood each contributed RBI singles in the eighth for the Pirates.

Pence was finally able to get a base hit in the eighth as he scored Victorino with a single to center for a 7-4 lead.

"When you look around here you feel like you're in an All-Star game," said Pence about his teammates. "And the fans here give me the chills, they're great."

Ryan Madson struck out the side in the ninth for his 18th save of the season.

Game Notes

Prior to the game, the Phils activate Polanco from the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Domonic Brown and pitcher Drew Carpenter to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Polanco had been on the DL since July 4 with lower back inflammation...Hurdle turned 54 on Saturday...Howard came into the game with 826 RBI while Burrell had 827 with the Phillies...The Phillies are now 3-2 against Pittsburgh this season.






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  • PITTSBURGH: 4
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  • Placido Polanco singled to center. On the play, Hunter Pence advances to second and Ryan Howard advances to third. Bases loaded with two outs and Carlos Ruiz due up.

    Pirates 4, Phillies 7  Bot 8, 2 OutsJul 30 9:56 PM
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  • Jose Veras starts the inning for the Pirates, batting 9th.

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  • Neil Walker single to right scored Pedro Ciriaco with one out. On the play, Andrew McCutchen advances to second. Runners on first and second and Steve Pearce due up.

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  • Cliff Lee grounded out short to first. On the play, Carlos Ruiz advances to third. Runner on third with two outs and Jimmy Rollins due up.

    Pirates 2, Phillies 6  Bot 7, 2 OutsJul 30 9:23 PM


  • Ryan Howard single to right scored Jimmy Rollins with two out. On the play, Chase Utley advances to third. Runners on first and third and Hunter Pence due up.

    Pirates 2, Phillies 5  Bot 4, 2 OutsJul 30 8:30 PM
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  • Chase Utley singled to right. On the play, Jimmy Rollins advances to second and Cliff Lee scored on Steve Pearce's fielding error with two out. Runners on first and second and Ryan Howard due up.

    Pirates 2, Phillies 4  Bot 4, 2 OutsJul 30 8:28 PM


  • Pedro Alvarez two-out, two-run Home Run (3) to right scored Brandon Wood. Michael McKenry due up.

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  • Ryan Howard double to left scored Shane Victorino with one out. On the play, Chase Utley advances to third. Runners on second and third and Hunter Pence due up.

    Pirates 0, Phillies 3  Bot 3, 1 OutJul 30 8:04 PM


  • Jimmy Rollins one-out, solo Home Run (13) to right. Shane Victorino due up.

    Pirates 0, Phillies 2  Bot 3, 1 OutJul 30 7:55 PM


  • Hunter Pence grounded out second to first. None on with one out and Raul Ibanez due up.

    Pirates 0, Phillies 1  Bot 2, 1 OutJul 30 7:33 PM


  • PITTSBURGH: 0
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    Jul 30 7:07 PM
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