for this game

Howard's 2-run single lifts Phils over Jays

Jul 2, 2011 - 12:23 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Ryan Howard's two-run single in the top of the ninth inning lifted Philadelphia to a 7-6 defeat of Toronto in the opener of a three-game interleague set from the Rogers Centre.

Shane Victorino finished with three hits, two RBI and scored two runs for the Phillies, who have won four of the last five games. Ben Francisco added two doubles and drove in two runs and Carlos Ruiz added a run batted in.

Danys Baez (2-3) turned in a scoreless eighth inning for the win and Antonio Bastardo shut the door in the ninth for his fourth save.

Eric Thames posted two hits, including a two-run homer, and Edwin Encarnacion added a two-run double for the Blue Jays, who have dropped four of five.

Jose Bautista hit a go-ahead two-run blast in the bottom of the seventh for Toronto, but Frank Francisco (1-4) coughed up the lead and took the loss. He was charged with the deciding runs over one-third of an inning.

Down to their last at-bat, Placido Polanco worked a leadoff walk, Chase Utley doubled off the glove of Jays left fielder Juan Rivera and Howard's bloop hit to left scored both for a 7-6 game.

"I wasn't looking to do anything crazy, but just to get either a sac fly or put something in the outfield," Howard said.

Two batters later, a Francisco double put two runners in scoring position. Marc Rzepczynski came on and induced groundouts from Domonic Brown and Ruiz to keep the damage at two runs.

Bastardo finished off the game by retiring the side in order.

Encarnacion got the Jays off to a good start, driving in two with a two-out double in the home first, but Francisco doubled home Victorino in the second to get the Phils within 2-1.

Utley was hit by a pitch with one out in the third and scored two batters later on a Victorino single.

In the home fifth, Aaron Hill laced a single with one out then Thames belted a long two-out homer into the second deck in right for a 4-2 Toronto edge.

Brown then started the sixth with a double, stole third and scored on a Ruiz single before the Phils pulled ahead in the seventh, chasing Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero from the contest.

"At the end of the game they were down, but they took their at-bats and were patient," Romero said. "That's what good teams do. Hats off to them on the comeback victory. We have some work to do."

Howard's one-out single brought in Jason Frasor, who was immediately touched for Victorino's RBI triple and a sacrifice fly from Francisco which plated the fleet outfielder and gave the visitors a 5-4 edge.

However, Hill hit a one-out single and Bautista launched his 25th homer of the season to left for a 6-5 Jays advantage. It was an unfortunate end to Phils starter Kyle Kendrick's day, as he finished with eight hits and six runs allowed in seven frames.

Game Notes

The Phillies have won five of the last six games against the Blue Jays since June, 2009...Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar left the game in the third inning after being hit on the hand...Romero lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs with four walks.