Kyle Kendrick pitched a career-high eight shutout innings, while Chase Utley went 4-for-5 and was a home run away from the cycle, as the Phils snapped their six-game losing streak with a 4-0 win in Oakland.
A’s hitters tallied just four hits off Kendrick (7-3), who flaunted “the best sinker he’s had all season,” according to catcher Chris Coste in a post-game interview. Kendrick, who lowered his ERA to 4.59, shied away from his secondary pitches and instead, kept the ball out of the middle of the plate. He also credited Coste for calling a good game. The San Francisco Chronicle offered a report from the other side: “(Bob) Geren said there was a lot of talk in the dugout trying to figure out what Kendrick was doing, because he wasn't overpowering, but he was moving the ball in and out well. ‘The hitters kept coming back saying they didn't get much over the plate,’ Geren said.”
Manager Charlie Manuel juggled the lineup to positive results. The Phils scattered 11 hits and scored all their runs without the long ball. Manuel spread his speed threats evenly throughout the lineup.
With the win, the Phils increased their lead to two games over Florida, who were pummeled by Tampa 15-3. Meanwhile, the Mets (4 back) and Braves (4.5 back) kept pace with wins over Seattle and Milwaukee.