for this game

Escobar's error helps Phillies draw first blood

Aug 11, 2007 - 4:42 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- In a game that changed as dramatically as the weather, a costly error was the deciding factor.

Yunel Escobar's throwing error in the seventh inning allowed Jayson Werth to score the go-ahead run and Cole Hamels threw six hitless frames following a horrendous first as the Philadelphia Phillies edged the Atlanta Braves, 5-4, in the opener of an important three-game series at Citizens Bank Park on Friday.

Coupled with a 4-3 loss to Florida by New York (64-51), the victory by Philadelphia (61-54) moved it within three games of the first-place Mets in the National League East Division. Atlanta (61-55) remained 3 1/3 games back.

"We're getting down to the last two months," Hamels said. "Especially when we play teams that are ahead of us in the division, you can't just let games get away from you. We ended up battling back."

After temperatures in the upper 90s for most of the week, the game-time mark was 64 degrees, and the cool weather saw both teams score four runs in the first inning.

"I honestly have never been in a city where it's 100 degrees three straight games and all of a sudden, tonight it turns into October weather," Philadelphia's Wes Helms said. "There probably would have been two or three more home runs hit tonight if it weren't for that weather."

Neither Hamels nor Atlanta starter Chuck James allowed a hit after the opening frame.

"Neither pitcher was making good pitches in the first inning," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "Then they made nothing but good pitches. It was strange."

The game was tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh, with reliever Peter Moylan (4-2) pitching for the Braves. With a runner on second base and one out, pinch hitter Greg Dobbs hit a grounder deep in the hole at shortstop that was fielded by Escobar, who threw wildly past first, allowing Werth to score.

"(Escobar) had to try to make that play," Cox said. "A lot of guys don't get to tha ball, probably."

Dobbs was hitting for Hamels, whose performance made the decision to remove him from the game a difficult one for Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.

"I didn't necessarily want to take him out," Manuel said. "Werth got on base and got down to second. I felt like with Dobbs, it was time to go for the win."

J.C. Romero and Antonio Alfonseca combined for a scoreless eighth before Tom Gordon worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth for his sixth save.

"The last couple of games, I've taken a giant step to getting close to where I want to be," said Gordon, who was making just his eighth appearance since returning from a shoulder injury.

Hamels (13-5) worked seven innings, giving up four runs and five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. The lefthander retired 19 of the last 21 batters he faced after Brian McCann's two-out, two-run double in the first.

"I'm just lucky enough to play on this team, just because of the runs that they're gonna produce," Hamels said. "Everybody picked it up for me. It made things a little bit easier to move on and go out and battle for the next (six) innings."

James lasted six frames, surrendering four runs and five hits with a walk and five strikeouts. He retired the last 16 Phillies he faced after Chris Coste delivered a two-out single in the opening inning.

"When we jumped out four runs, especially on (Hamels), I thought it was gonna be a good day," James said. "That's what frustrates me the most. After the first inning, there was nothing left (to do) but to relax and try to get back on track."

Atlanta batted around in the first, collecting five hits en route to a 4-0 lead. With one out, Matt Diaz hit a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall for a solo homer, his ninth shot of the season.

Chipper Jones followed with a double and came around to score on an RBI single by Mark Teixeira to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. Jeff Francoeur singled to put runners on first and second, and after a groundout, McCann doubled the advantage with his two-base hit.

Despite tossing 37 pitches in the inning, Hamels threw 25 strikes and was ahead in the count on most of the batters.

"I wasn't able to finish guys off," Hamels said. "With the Braves, they see me a lot. They definitely know what type of pitches I'll (use) to finish them off. I wasn't able to do that."

Philadelphia quickly answered in its half of the frame, scoring four runs on five hits while sending nine batters to the plate.

Jimmy Rollins and Tadahito Iguchi opened with singles before Pat Burrell lined a run-scoring double to left field. Ryan Howard halved the deficit with a sacrifice fly and Helms evened the contest one out later with a two-run homer off the foul screen in left.

"We did a great job to tie it up there," Helms said. "Once Cole saw we battled back for him, I think it boosted his confidence and he was a totally different pitcher after the first inning. That shows the toughness he's got."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 6 1
    PHILADELPHIA 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 x 5 7 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ATL - CHUCK JAMES, PETER MOYLAN (7TH), TYLER YATES (8TH) AND BRIAN
    MCCANN
    PHI - COLE HAMELS, J.C. ROMERO (8TH), ANTONIO ALFONSECA
    (8TH), TOM GORDON (9TH) AND CHRIS

    Aug 10 10:00 PM
  • 45
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 10 9:49 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY YUNEL ESCOBAR ALLOWED JAYSON WERTH TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G DOBBS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    PHILADELPHIA 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J ROLLINS (.288, 1-FOR-3)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 10 9:23 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY WES HELMS (5) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    1ST OFF CHUCK JAMES SCORED PAT BURRELL.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4, PHILADELPHIA 4
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J WERTH (.259, 4 HR, 17 RBI)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 10 8:01 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RYAN HOWARD SCORED TADAHITO IGUCHI.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, P BURRELL ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    PHILADELPHIA 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: A ROWAND (.316, 18 HR, 65 RBI)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 10 7:58 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY PAT BURRELL SCORED JIMMY ROLLINS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, P BURRELL ON SECOND, T IGUCHI ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    PHILADELPHIA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.271, 32 HR, 93 RBI)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 10 7:57 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 4 4 5 0
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: ATL - CHUCK JAMES
    PHI - COLE HAMELS

    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J ROLLINS (.288, 20 HR, 68 RBI)
    T IGUCHI (.388, 1 HR, 3 RBI)
    P BURRELL (.265, 17 HR, 58 RBI)

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 10 7:51 PM
  • 10
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Braves vs. PhilliesAug 10 12:13 AM
  • 5
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    dseligsohn Added 5 roots

    Braves vs. PhilliesJul 18 4:25 PM