Cole Hamels overcame a four-run first to earn his 13th victory, while the offense answered with four in the first and capitalized on a throwing error in the seventh to give the Phils the win.
Meanwhile in New York, Hanley Ramirez hit a go-ahead, two-run double off closer Billy Wagner in the ninth as the Marlins rallied past the Mets 4-3. Kevin Gregg saved his 25th game for Florida.
With MVP-candidate Chase Utley out of the lineup since July 27, the Phillies have played inspired ball, improving their standing in both the division and wild card races. While the bats continue to click, led by resurgent slugger Pat Burrell, the arms have come through most. In the 22 games before last night, the pitching staff had a 3.42 ERA and have allowed only seven homers in their last nine games. The veteran bullpen, which is closer to full strength than not, has compiled a 2.41 ERA in their last 19 games, while allowing just two homers over 59 2-3 innings. Tom Gordon’s ninth inning wasn’t pretty, but he held on for his first save since May, giving Brett Myers the night off.
On a night when the team paid tribute to John Vukovich, the Phillies won their 11th game out of the last 14 at home in front of an increasingly large and appreciative crowd. They're indeed an easy group to get behind.
Rowand forced out with blurred vision: Aaron Rowand was taken out of yesterday's game with blurred vision in his right eye. According to the team Web site, he will have an examination today at Wills Eye Hospital. No word on how much time he will miss. What next?