The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-4 on Saturday night to win the series and continue their impressive 5-1 road trip that culminates on Sunday afternoon. Kyle Kendrick got the win, pitching seven plus innings. Matt Morris took the loss for the Pirates , allowing six runs in one and two thirds innings of work.
Morris threw 49 pitches to get out of the first inning, after getting into trouble after getting two outs in the inning. After Morris retired Jayson Werth and Greg Dobbs top start the game, the next seven hitters reached base against Morris, en route to five Phillies runs.
Morris struggled again in the second, allowing three of the first five hitters to reach base before Pittsburgh manager John Russell lifted him in favor of Phil Dumatrait. Dumatrait pitched well until he started to tire in the sixth Werth doubled home Eric Bruntlett with the Phillies seventh run. Werth would score on Pedro Feliz’s double to right center and make it an 8-2 Phille lead.
The Phillies improved on Friday night’s performance when they failed to add on after amassing a 6-0 lead. On Saturday night, the Phillies offense continued to add on against a tiring Dumatrait in the sixth after going silent once Morris was lifted in the second. This allowed to the Phils to have a fairly comfortable ride in the later innings when the Pirates mounted rallies against a tiring Kendrick with the key components in their bullpen unavailable.
Kendrick pitched well with a lead and keep the Pirates off the board in every inning when his teammates gave him a bigger lead. Kendrick also put together streaks of nine and seven consecutive batter retired, respectively, at various points in the game. This showcased his ability to pitch with a lead and take control of the game. These attributes were what he showcased in his rookie season last year and will serve him and the Phillies well in years to come.
The Phils try and close out a successful road trip with a sweep of the Pirates in tomorrow’s series finale against the Pirates. After an off day Monday, Philadelphia starts a six game home stand on Tuesday against the Padres and Giants as their dominance against teams from teams outside the National League East continues in the season’s first month.
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