The Phillies did a tremendous job of putting their blowout loss from Saturday behind them with an all-around win over the Braves on Sunday, 7-3.
With the victory, the Phillies (43-46) opened their ultra-important 10-game homestand by taking two of three games from the NL East-leading Braves (50-38). Now, the other division rival comes to town for four contests: the Nationals (46-42).
After doing just about everything wrong on Saturday, the Phillies did plenty right on Sunday.
Rookie Jonathan Pettibone pitched 5 1/3 strong innings of one-run ball and retired 12 of his first 13 batters faced. The 22-year-old earned his fifth win and the Phillies improved to 10-5 in games that he has started. Pettibone has also thrown five or more innings in all 15 of those starts.
The Phillies had four two-out RBIs in the rubber-match win. All-Star Domonic Brown got the Phils’ started with a two-out RBI triple in the first inning. Delmon Young then followed with an RBI single. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Young is 7 for 17 (.412) this season.
Along with Young, Ben Revere’s bat remained hot in the fourth inning with a clutch two-out, two-run triple to extend the Phillies’ advantage to 4-0. On May 1, Revere was hitting .204. After today? .295.
Brown also clubbed his 23rd home run in the fifth inning, which puts him one shy of the NL lead (Carlos Gonzalez, 24). Darin Ruf had a hit, a walk and a couple runs scored in his first start of 2013.
Aside from J.C. Ramirez giving up two runs on four hits, the Phillies’ bullpen was solid. Jake Diekman, Justin De Fratus and Antonio Bastardo all recorded big outs, while Jonathan Papelbon finished the win with a scoreless ninth, lowering his ERA to 1.82.
Howard to have MRI
On Monday, Ryan Howard will undergo an MRI on his ailing left knee. After being placed on the DL before Saturday's game, Howard's status remains up in the air.
“We’ll see what happens [Monday] to get a better understanding of what’s going on inside of there and then we’ll address it with either surgery or any other kind of injections,” Howard said, per CSNPhilly.com's John Finger. “Right now, it’s too early to tell. Once we find out, we’ll look at it and see what will be the best thing.”
The suddenly streaking Nationals pay a visit to Citizens Bank Park. Washington has won four straight games and nine of its last 13.
Here are the pitching matchups for the four-game set:
Monday -- John Lannan (1-3, 5.15) vs. Dan Haren (4-9, 6.15)
Tuesday -- Cole Hamels (3-11, 4.38) vs. Taylor Jordan (0-1, 2.70)
Wednesday -- Cliff Lee (10-2, 2.73) vs. Gio Gonzalez (6-3, 3.14)
Thursday --- Kyle Kendrick (7-6, 3.90) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (12-3, 2.57)