Cole Hamels pitched seven innings of four run baseball, and the Phillies' bats came alive for twelve runs as Philadelphia evened their series in Houston with a 12-6 victory at Minute Maid Park. The win is the Phillies' 12th in their last 15 games, and pulls them to within 3.5 games of the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot pending St. Louis' result in Los Angeles.
The Phillies jumped all over Houston starter Edgar Gonzalez early, putting four runs on the board in the first. Jimmy Rollins led off the game with his 20th home run of the season, followed by a Juan Pierre walk. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and John Mayberry, Jr. then strung together RBI hits to cap the inning.
Houston would try to claw their way back into the game, with Jose Altuve scoring on a Rollins throwing error in the bottom half of the frame. Matt Downs would add a two-run homer for the Astros, but they were unable to gain any ground as the Phillies strung together hits for a run in the fourth, and John Mayberry, Jr. drove in two with a double in the sixth. Justin Maxwell would go deep for Houston to narrow the deficit to 7-4, but Philadelphia's bats would then put the game away in the 8th as Chase Utley doubled in Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard drove in Utley and Juan Pierre with a single to push the run total to twelve and finish off the scoring for the Phillies.
The Astros would get a single run in each of the last two innings, but it was little more than a footnote in Philadelphia's 12-6 romp.
The two teams go at it again tomorrow, as Kyle Kendrick takes the hill for the Phillies opposite Dallas Keuchel for Houston.
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