In a match up that featured the division leaders of the AL & NL East, Ryan Howard’s two home run display lifted the Philadelphia Phillies past the Boston Red Sox 8-2 Monday night at Citizens Bank Park in front of a sold out crowd of 45,026 fans. The multi-home run game was Howard’s third of the season and 15th of his young career.
Bartolo Colon only lasted four innings on the mound for the Red Sox and was pulled from the game after experiencing back stiffness. Colon allowed four runs on six hits and believes he may have injured his back while batting.
“I think I did it on a swing,” Colon said through a translator. “We’ll find out more tomorrow, but I think I’ll make my next start.”
For the Phillies, starting pitcher Cole Hamels tossed seven innings of solid baseball allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out five in his outing. The win improves his record on the season to (7-4) and in convinced that this is not the last time he will be seeing Boston.
“I believe we’re destined to play each other in the World Series,” Hamels said. “We can compete with them any day of the week.”
Besides back-to-back home runs by Dustin Pedroia and J.D. Drew in the 5th inning, the Sox were never really able to get anything going against Hamels and the Phillies. The 24-year old was in control the entire outing and was very tough once he was ahead in the count.
“He’s not the type of guy you want to fall behind,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He’s terrific.”
On in relief, Mike Timlin allowed four runs on four hits in only 2/3 innings of work for Boston. The appearance raises his ERA to 7.06 on the season and makes one wonder if it is only a matter of time before the Red Sox decide to cut ties with the veteran. At 42 years old, Timlin has been in MLB for 21 years and just does not have the same kind of stuff he used to. With pitchers Dice-K Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholtz almost ready to return to the club, the issue of roster spots will arise and Timlin’s spot will certainly be one that they consider to replace.
Tonight the Sox look to bounce back into the winning column as they send Jon Lester to the hill. Lester, 5-3 on the season, will be up against veteran southpaw Jamie Moyer who boasts a 7-3 record. Many moons ago (1996), Moyer pitched for the Red Sox before being dealt away to Seattle in a trade that brought Darren Bragg to Boston. Since being traded, Moyer has gone onto win 171 more games. Another great call by former GM Dan Duquette.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm EST.