for this game

Howard's homer helps propel Phillies past Pirates

Apr 27, 2008 - 4:53 AM By David Assad PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) - Ryan Howard finally resembled his status as an elite hitter.

Howard drilled a two-run, first-inning homer as the Philadelphia Phillies cruised past the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-4, on Saturday.

Chase Utley went 2-for-4 and scored twice and Eric Bruntlett and Geoff Jenkins each had run-scoring singles for Philadelphia, which has won six of seven overall.

Howard's blast also helped make a winner of starter Kyle Kendrick (2-2), who allowed four runs - three earned - and seven hits, while striking out two in seven-plus innings.

"Kendrick did a good job," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He was probably getting a little tired there at the end. They jumped first pitches on him in that (eighth) inning. But I thought maybe he'd give us seven strong innings tonight and he did. Kyle did a good job."

The 2006 National League MVP, Howard, who entered this contest hitting a measly .174 with just four homers and an alarming 35 strikeouts in 86 at-bats, took out his frustrations on an opponent who he had never gone deep against in 19 previous contests.

"To be able to come through in the first at-bat, felt good," Howard said. "Hitting can be a snowball effect, good or bad. I try to take something positive from each day and just keep putting it together and letting it roll."

The powerful first baseman hadn't been in the starting lineup for the last two games due to his slump.

"In batting practice, the ball has been jumping off Ryan's bat better," Manuel said. "He's getting his timing back. It's just a matter of time.

"The only thing Ryan has to do is go up see the ball, get a good pitch to hit and put the ball in play. He'll get hits because he's so strong. Two years ago when he had that huge year, that's what he did."

With a runner on first and two outs, Howard sent a belt-high fastball from Matt Morris (0-4) over the center-field fence to give the Phillies a 2-0 advantage.

"I felt a little bit better at the plate," Howard said. "The homer felt pretty good off the bat, but I didn't know if it cleared the wall. It's a pretty big park here. The flags could be blowing out, but the wind could be blowing straight in."

It was Howard's first homer since April 17 and just the beginning of another frustrating afternoon for Morris.

Two more base hits and two errors in the top of the first led to three more runs for the Phillies, who did all of their damage with two outs.

After Morris surrendered an RBI base hit to Jenkins with two outs in the second to make it 6-0, the veteran righthander was lifted from the game for reliever Phil Dumatrait.

"Matt's command is just not where it needs to be right now," Pirates manager John Russell said. "When you leave balls up, you're going to get hit, especially against teams like Philadelphia."

Morris, who was tagged for six runs - three earned - and six hits in just 1 2/3 innings, has given up 31 runs in 22 1/3 innings this season to see his ERA rise to 9.67.

The 11-year veteran, who has an earned run average above 7.00 since he was acquired by the Pirates on July 31, saw nothing positive in this start.

"The decent pitches I threw were fouled off and fought hard," Morris said. "The pitches that were in the zone were hit hard. I might have to reevaluate everything about my pitching."

Russell would not say if Morris will be dropped from the rotation after another poor outing.

"It's too early to say anything right now," Russell said. "We'll continue to see where we are and where he's at. To make that decision tonight is not fair."

Nate McLouth hit a solo homer and Xavier Nady went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 14 games for Pittsburgh, which has dropped nine of 10 following a four-game winning streak.








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

    BATTERIES: PHI - KYLE KENDRICK, RUDY SEANEZ (8TH), RYAN MADSON (9TH) AND CHRIS
    COSTE
    PIT - MATT MORRIS, PHILLIP DUMATRAIT (2ND), FRANQUELIS
    OSORIA (6TH), EVAN MEEK (8TH) AND

    Apr 26 9:53 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY NATE MCLOUTH (4) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF KYLE KENDRICK.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 8, PITTSBURGH 4
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: F SANCHEZ (.217, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Phillies 8, Pirates 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 26 9:30 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY BRIAN BIXLER SCORED DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R PAULINO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 8
    PITTSBURGH 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: F OSORIA (.500, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Phillies 8, Pirates 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 26 9:17 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY PEDRO FELIZ SCORED JAYSON WERTH.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, P FELIZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 8
    PITTSBURGH 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C UTLEY (.378, 2-FOR-3)

    Phillies 8, Pirates 2  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 26 8:47 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JAYSON WERTH SCORED ERIC BRUNTLETT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J WERTH ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 7
    PITTSBURGH 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: G DOBBS (.324, 0-FOR-3)

    Phillies 7, Pirates 2  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 26 8:45 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FREDDY SANCHEZ SCORED NATE MCLOUTH.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, F SANCHEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 6
    PITTSBURGH 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAY (.266, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies 6, Pirates 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsApr 26 8:07 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NATE MCLOUTH SCORED BRIAN BIXLER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MCLOUTH ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 6
    PITTSBURGH 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: F SANCHEZ (.210, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies 6, Pirates 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsApr 26 8:06 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GEOFF JENKINS SCORED CHASE UTLEY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G JENKINS ON FIRST, R HOWARD ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 6
    PITTSBURGH 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C COSTE (.406, 0-FOR-0, HBP)

    Phillies 6, Pirates 0  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 26 7:42 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: PHI - KYLE KENDRICK
    PIT - MATT MORRIS

    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MCLOUTH (.319, 3 HR, 16 RBI)
    F SANCHEZ (.213, 0 HR, 6 RBI)
    J BAY (.269, 5 HR, 8 RBI)

    Phillies 5, Pirates 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 26 7:26 PM
  • 5
    roots
    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Phillies vs. PiratesApr 2 4:19 AM