Charlie Manuel opted to sit Ryan Howard to start this afternoon’s game. Not only was the Big Piece mired in a 2-28 slump since the all star break, he’s almost been dominated in his career by Padres starter Mat Latos (8Ks in 9AB). However, when Latos left after six innings and reliever Chad Qualls came on for the ninth, Howard was brought in to pinch to hit and proceeded to drive the first pitch he saw over the left center field wall.
Howard’s shot keyed a five run seventh that saw the Phils take the lead for good. Qualls would surrender two more homers before being yanked after recording just one out. Michael Martinez hit a 3-run shot and Chase Utley connected on his second long ball of the day.
It was Utey's 19th multi-homer game of his career, which matches Rogers Hornsby for the 5th most by a second baseman since 1920. The guy who happens to lead that category is coaching the Phillies AAA affiliate right now, Ryne Sandberg.
Kyle Kendrick lasted into the sixth inning, giving up three earned runs. Michael Stutes earned the win after relieving him for an inning and a third while Ryan Madson struck out two in the ninth for 17th save.
The Phils will send Roy Halladay to the hill tomorrow afternoon as they look to take their seventh straight this season from the Padres.