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Back home, Phillies blanked again; lose 2-0 to LA
Question of the Day
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Failure to make productive outs hurt the Philadelphia Phillies again.
Roberto Hernandez (2-2) allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, taking the hard-luck loss in his first start since May 9. Hernandez pitched out of the bullpen the past two weeks because the Phillies didn’t need a fifth starter.
After a 43-minute rain delay in the top of the fourth, the Phillies wasted several opportunities with runners in scoring position the rest of the game. They had runners on second and third with no outs in the fourth after Carlos Ruiz walked and Chase Utley hit a double, the first hit off Kershaw.
But the hard-throwing lefty escaped the jam by striking out Marlon Byrd, Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf. Each went down swinging at pitches in the dirt that required catcher A.J. Ellis to throw to first.
They had runners on first and second with no outs in the sixth, but Utley flied out, Byrd fouled out and Howard struck out looking.
“We really saw their pitcher step up,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “We missed some fastballs and he had a good slider for an out pitch.”
Reliever Brandon League replaced Kershaw to start the seventh and left after loading the bases. J.P. Howell entered and retired pinch-hitter Domonic Brown on a sinking liner that Crawford caught sliding. Ben Revere inexplicably didn’t tag up and stayed at third. Jimmy Rollins then grounded into a third-to-home fielder’s choice. Ruiz flied out to right to end the threat.
“Usually those balls drop for Dom,” Revere explained. “I saw a line drive and I froze.”
Sandberg defended Revere, saying it was a tough play. Brown told Revere he made the right decision.
The Phillies were shut out for the sixth time, including fifth at home. They are 8-13 at Citizens Bank Park.
“We had chances, we created opportunities against a tough pitcher,” Sandberg said.
But their inability to advance runners with grounders to the right side or sacrifice flies cost them another game.
Kershaw (3-1) bounced back from his roughest outing in two years with an excellent performance, striking out nine. The two-time Cy Young Award winner allowed seven runs in 1 2-3 innings - the second-shortest outing of his career - in an 18-7 loss to Arizona last Saturday.
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