Rays
Phillies
2 - 10 Final
  for this game

Blanton, Howard power Phillies past Rays

Oct 27, 2008 - 6:15 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Joe Blanton did it with his arm and his bat, and now the Philadelphia Phillies are on the doorstep of history.

Blanton pitched six-plus strong innings and hit a solo homer to lead the Phillies to a 10-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Four of the World Series on Sunday.

Ryan Howard hit a pair of homers and Jimmy Rollins scored three runs for Philadelphia, which now owns a three-games-to-one lead over the Rays in the best-of-seven series. The Phillies host Game Five on Monday.

"This is what we play for, to be in this position," Rollins said. "It took 162 games for teams to get to this point, and we struggled at some points and fell behind sometimes. But it's showed the character of this team the way we've battled back."

Philadelphia has won just one World Series title - in 1980 - throughout the 125-year history of the franchise.

"Right now, this is where we want to be, up three-games-to-one at home, got a chance to try to close it out here in Philadelphia," Howard said.

Blanton (1-0), who many questioned even taking the ball Sunday as opposed to ace Cole Hamels going on three days' rest, was sharp right from the start. He kept Tampa Bay off-balance with a fastball in the low-90s and an assortment of tough breaking pitches.

The burly righthander struck out seven and walked two while allowing two runs and four hits.

With the Phillies on top, 5-2, in the fifth, Blanton provided himself with some insurance when he turned around a fastball from Edwin Jackson and lifted a solo homer into the seats in left field. It was his first blast in 34 career at-bats.

"I just stuck to my same approach to hitting since I got here (in a July trade from the Oakland Athletics) and swing hard and hope something good happens," Blanton said. "Better to be lucky than good, I guess."

Howard, who hit his first homer of the postseason in Saturday's Game Three victory, continued to bust out of his postseason slumber in Game Four with three of hits, including an opposite-field shot in the bottom of the fourth.

"To be able to have two home runs in the World Series, that's the kind of stuff you dream of when you're a teenager," Howard said.

After the Rays pulled within 2-1 in the top of the frame on a solo homer by Carl Crawford, Philadelphia put together a rally in the bottom of the inning with the help of some poor Tampa Bay defense. Rollins led off the frame with a grounder to second that Akinori Iwamura failed to field cleanly.

Jayson Werth drew a walk and Chase Utley struck out before Howard took a 2-1 pitch from righthander Andy Sonnanstine (0-1) and planted it firmly in the stands in left for a 5-1 bulge.

Howard added a two-run blast off lefthander Trever Miller in the eighth to cap the scoring.

"I just stayed within myself," Howard said. "I think a lot was made (of my struggles) a little bit early, but you go through little funks where things just don't go right. But right now, I was just taking it one game at a time, one pitch at a time, and just slowly but steadily getting the rhythm back where I want to be."

Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre, Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero combined to allow one hit over the final three frames to seal the win.

The Rays, who looked like world-beaters when they were dismantling the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series, have had their World Series experience marked by some poor infield defense and a struggling middle of the lineup.

Their No. 3 and 4 hitters, Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria, entered the series with nine combined homers in the postseason. The duo is a combined 0-for-29 with 15 strikeouts in the Fall Classic, and both struck out in the eighth inning Sunday as Tampa Bay was running out of chances.

"I just think that both guys are just out of their game a little bit right now," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

After Blanton set down the side in order in the top of the first, the Phillies took an early lead thanks to some odd plays and a bad umpiring call. Rollins led off with a double and moved to third on Werth's flyout to right. Utley then walked and Howard grounded back to Sonnanstine on the mound.

Instead of flipping to second base and starting a double play that would have ended the inning, Sonnanstine ran at Rollins on the third base line and flipped to Longoria, who appeared to apply the tag as Rollins dove toward the bag. But third base umpire Tim Welke called him safe.

"I saw the pitcher was coming to third base ," Welke said. "So if I saw (Sonnanstine) flip the ball. I saw Longoria coming in and he was going for Rollins on the back of his leg. I just saw (Longoria) swing and miss."

Utley reached in the third on another error by Iwamura and eventually came around to score on Pedro Feliz's single to left.

"It was patience," Rollins said. "We had Sonnanstine in trouble early and he was able to work his way out of it. I thought to myself, 'we've got to get out of this somehow. We can't let these guys hang around, they're too good of a ballclub.' And then they started making a couple of mistakes."

Pinch hitter Eric Hinske, who was added to the roster earlier in the day when Cliff Floyd was removed due to a right shoulder injury, accounted for Tampa Bay's other run on a solo homer.

Werth added a two-run blast for the Phillies in the eighth before Howard's second shot.






  • 80
    roots
    SuketoKetchi Added 5 roots

    Rays 2, Phillies 10  FinalOct 27 2:29 AM


  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 5 2
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 1 3 1 0 0 4 x 10 12 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - ANDY SONNANSTINE, EDWIN JACKSON (5TH), DAN WHEELER (7TH),
    TREVER MILLER (8TH) AND DIONER NAVARRO
    PHI - JOE BLANTON, CHAD DURBIN (7TH), SCOTT EYRE (7TH),
    RYAN

    Oct 26 11:39 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA WORLD SERIES - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN HOWARD (3) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF TREVER MILLER SCORED CHASE UTLEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2, PHILADELPHIA 10
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: E BRUNTLETT (.500, 1 HR, 1 RBI)

    Rays 2, Phillies 10  Bot 8, 0 OutsOct 26 11:25 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA WORLD SERIES - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JAYSON WERTH (1) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 8TH OFF DAN WHEELER SCORED JIMMY ROLLINS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2, PHILADELPHIA 8
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C UTLEY (.200, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Rays 2, Phillies 8  Bot 8, 0 OutsOct 26 11:19 PM
  • 75
    roots
    bouch Added 5 roots

    Rays 2, Phillies 6  Top 6, 0 OutsOct 26 10:16 PM
  • 70
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Rays 2, Phillies 6  Top 6, 0 OutsOct 26 10:14 PM
  • 65
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Rays 2, Phillies 6  Top 6, 0 OutsOct 26 10:11 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA WORLD SERIES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOE BLANTON (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF EDWIN JACKSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2, PHILADELPHIA 6
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J ROLLINS (.235, 2-FOR-3)

    Rays 2, Phillies 6  Bot 5, 0 OutsOct 26 10:06 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA WORLD SERIES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ERIC HINSKE (1) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF JOE BLANTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2, PHILADELPHIA 5
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: A IWAMURA (.231, 0-FOR-2)

    Rays 2, Phillies 5  Top 5, 0 OutsOct 26 9:58 PM
  • 60
    roots
    AFaust3 Added 5 roots

    Rays 1, Phillies 5  Top 5, 0 OutsOct 26 9:56 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA WORLD SERIES - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN HOWARD (2) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF ANDY SONNANSTINE SCORED JIMMY ROLLINS AND JAYSON WERTH.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1, PHILADELPHIA 5
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P BURRELL (.000, 0-FOR-1, BB, RBI)

    Rays 1, Phillies 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsOct 26 9:49 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA WORLD SERIES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARL CRAWFORD (2) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF JOE BLANTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1, PHILADELPHIA 2
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: D NAVARRO (.455, 1-FOR-1)

    Rays 1, Phillies 2  Top 4, 0 OutsOct 26 9:37 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA WORLD SERIES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PEDRO FELIZ SCORED CHASE UTLEY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, P FELIZ ON FIRST, R HOWARD ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    PHILADELPHIA 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C RUIZ (.444, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 0, Phillies 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsOct 26 9:27 PM
  • 55
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Rays 0, Phillies 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsOct 26 9:22 PM
  • 50
    roots
    savbyroy Added 5 roots

    Rays 0, Phillies 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsOct 26 9:15 PM
  • 45
    roots
    MistaC Added 5 roots

    Rays 0, Phillies 1  Top 3, 0 OutsOct 26 9:12 PM
  • 40
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Rays 0, Phillies 1  Top 3, 0 OutsOct 26 9:08 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA WORLD SERIES - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO PAT BURRELL SCORED JIMMY ROLLINS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, P BURRELL ON FIRST, R HOWARD ON SECOND, C
    UTLEY ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: S VICTORINO (.364, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Rays 0, Phillies 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsOct 26 8:48 PM
  • 35
    roots
    bignate Added 5 roots

    Rays 0, Phillies 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsOct 26 8:37 PM
  • 30
    roots
    Creasy79 Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. PhilliesOct 26 7:58 PM
  • 25
    roots
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. PhilliesOct 26 12:10 PM
  • 20
    roots
    Multiworld Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. PhilliesOct 26 11:51 AM
  • 15
    roots
    mrman226 Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. PhilliesOct 26 9:18 AM
  • 10
    roots
    Lemonman Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. PhilliesOct 26 6:49 AM
  • 5
    roots
    craftmafia Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. PhilliesOct 23 11:35 PM