for this game

Howard leads Phillies to comeback win, first in NL East

Sep 17, 2008 - 4:40 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Just when things were looking bleak, Ryan Howard put the surging Philadelphia Phillies on his back.

Howard collected four hits, including a key RBI triple in the seventh and a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth, to lead the Phillies to an 8-7 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.

After Philadelphia (84-67) squandered leads of 3-0 and 4-3, Howard helped the club pull off an impressive comeback and vault one-half game ahead of New York (83-67) in the National League East. The Mets dropped a 1-0 decision to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.

"It's real nice to be in first place," said Phillies starter Jamie Moyer, whose club has won five in a row. "That's what we want to try to do here."

Things did not look good for the Phillies, who found themselves trailing, 7-4, after the Braves sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth. But as soon as the scoreboard at Turner Field posted New York's loss, Philadelphia came alive.

With one on and one out in the seventh, Howard delivered a triple that plated Jayson Werth. After Pat Burrell struck out, Shane Victorino singled to right field, scoring Howard and drawing Philadelphia within 7-6.

Ryan Madson (4-2) set down the Braves in order in the bottom half, and Howard came through again in the eighth, belting a 3-2 offering from Mike Gonzalez (0-3) into the seats in left field after Werth drew a two-out walk from Julian Tavarez.

"(At) 3-2, you're looking for anything close," Howard said. "I was just able to catch up to it. I know it's boring, but it's that simple."

The blast was Howard's 22nd of the season to the opposite field, tops in the major leagues. It also left Atlanta catcher Brian McCann shaking his head.

"Gonzalez made a great pitch," McCann said of the fastball, which was low and away. "When you've got pop like that, (Howard) got deep and hit it out. ... When he's locked in, he's as good as it gets. For the past month, he's been as hot as anybody in the game, power-wise."

Atlanta manager Bobby Cox would have been better served by walking Howard to get to Burrell, who proceeded to strike out for the fifth time in as many at-bats, ending the inning. But after the contest, Cox was more upset about Howard's wind-blown triple the previous inning.

"We had a three-run lead with the right guys coming in (from the bullpen)," Cox said. "That one (wind-blown) ball hurt us."

Howard, who leads the NL with 45 homers and 136 RBI, had been 0-for-6 lifetime against Gonzalez. He has dominated the Braves of late, however, batting .356 (26-for-73) with nine homers and 28 RBI in his last 18 games against the club.

"I like Atlanta," Howard said with a smile. "I like the city of Atlanta."

Madson tossed another perfect inning before Brad Lidge made things interesting in the ninth. The All-Star closer loaded the bases on three walks but struck out Gregor Blanco to seal the victory and notch his 37th save in as many chances.

Atlanta has relished its role of spoiler of late, essentially sweeping the Colorado Rockies out of the playoff race last week before taking two of three from New York in its final visit to Shea Stadium this past weekend.

But try as they might, the Braves were unable to stop the Phillies, who have won 13 of their last 15 against Atlanta and 20 of their last 27 visits to Turner Field.

"It's frustrating," Atlanta rookie starter James Parr said. "I wanted to win and the team wanted to win. We had the lead and we had one good comeback. We had some big hits. It's frustrating, but it's baseball."

For a while, however, it appeared as if the Braves finally had solved the Phillies.

Atlanta erased a 4-3 deficit in the bottom of the sixth against a tiring Moyer, who loaded the bases before allowing the tying run to score on a groundout by Josh Anderson.

Chad Durbin relieved the 45-year-old Moyer but could not tame the hot bat of Kelly Johnson, who laced the second pitch from the righthander just past diving shortstop Jimmy Rollins for a two-run single.

McCann extended the lead to 7-4, plating Johnson with a base hit to center field.

Moyer, who has not lost since August 5 to Florida, surrendered six runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings with four walks and six strikeouts.

Parr had his scoreless innings streak snapped in this one. After refusing to allow a run in either of his first two major league starts, both of which lasted six frames, the 22-year-old righthander was tagged for three in the third as Chase Utley delivered a one-out RBI double and scored on Werth's 23rd homer of the season.

The Braves answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame, including two on a two-out single by Casey Kotchman. But Carlos Ruiz reclaimed the lead for Philadelphia in the fifth with a solo blast on a 2-1 offering from Parr.

Five of Ruiz's 13 career homers have come against Atlanta.

Parr lasted 4 1/3 innings, yielding four runs and 10 hits with four strikeouts.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 3 1 0 0 2 2 0 8 14 0
    ATLANTA 0 0 3 0 0 4 0 0 0 7 8 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PHI - JAMIE MOYER, CHAD DURBIN (6TH), SCOTT EYRE (6TH), RYAN MADSON
    (7TH), BRAD LIDGE (9TH) AND CARLOS RUIZ, CHRIS COSTE (7TH)
    ATL - JAMES PARR, BUDDY CARLYLE (5TH)

    Sep 16 10:51 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN HOWARD (45) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF MIKE GONZALEZ SCORED JAYSON WERTH.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 8, ATLANTA 7
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P BURRELL (.250, 0-FOR-4)

    Phillies 8, Braves 7  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 16 10:07 PM
  • 45
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    RUWTbot Took away 16 roots (Close Finish)

    Phillies 8, Braves 7  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 16 10:07 PM
  • 61
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Phillies 6, Braves 7  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 16 9:48 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SHANE VICTORINO SCORED RYAN HOWARD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, S VICTORINO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 6
    ATLANTA 7 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P FELIZ (.252, 0-FOR-3)

    Phillies 6, Braves 7  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 16 9:39 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY RYAN HOWARD SCORED JAYSON WERTH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R HOWARD ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 5
    ATLANTA 7 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P BURRELL (.251, 0-FOR-3)

    Phillies 5, Braves 7  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 16 9:34 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRIAN MCCANN SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, B MCCANN ON FIRST, C JONES ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 4
    ATLANTA 7 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: O INFANTE (.302, 1-FOR-3)

    Phillies 4, Braves 7  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 16 9:25 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED BRENT LILLIBRIDGE AND GREG
    NORTON.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, K JOHNSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 4
    ATLANTA 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.365, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Phillies 4, Braves 6  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 16 9:19 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JOSH ANDERSON SCORED JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G NORTON ON SECOND, B LILLIBRIDGE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 4
    ATLANTA 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M PRADO (.326, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Phillies 4, Braves 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 16 9:16 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 16 roots

    Phillies 4, Braves 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 16 9:16 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS RUIZ (4) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF JAMES PARR.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 4, ATLANTA 3
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J MOYER (.085, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies 4, Braves 3  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 16 8:24 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CASEY KOTCHMAN SCORED MARTIN PRADO AND CHIPPER
    JONES.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C KOTCHMAN ON FIRST, B MCCANN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 3
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.232, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies 3, Braves 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 16 8:16 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRIAN MCCANN SCORED JOSH ANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B MCCANN ON FIRST, C JONES ON SECOND, M
    PRADO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 3
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: O INFANTE (.305, 1-FOR-1)

    Phillies 3, Braves 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 16 8:12 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JAYSON WERTH (23) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF JAMES PARR SCORED CHASE UTLEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 3, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.243, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies 3, Braves 0  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 16 7:55 PM
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Phillies 0, Braves 0  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 16 7:52 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHASE UTLEY SCORED JIMMY ROLLINS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C UTLEY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 1
    ATLANTA 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J WERTH (.275, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies 1, Braves 0  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 16 7:52 PM
  • 5
    roots
    SuketoKetchi Added 5 roots

    Phillies vs. BravesSep 16 9:40 AM