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Philadelphia (14-19) «0000004239100
Arizona (19-16)001101000371

Howard's pinch-hit grand slam puts Phils up for good vs. D-Backs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

PHOENIX -- With Arizona left-hander Randy Johnson on the mound, Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel planned to give slumping slugger Ryan Howard a day off.

The plan changed in the seventh inning, with the bases loaded and the Phillies trailing by three runs. Arizona brought in right-hander Brandon Medders, and Howard greeted him with a pinch-hit grand slam to lead the Phillies to a 9-3 victory on Wednesday night.

Howard, who entered hitting .198, hit reliever Medders' (1-1) first pitch 371 feet into the right field seats. It was the fourth grand slam of Howard's career and his fourth pinch-hit homer.

"It was set up perfect, really, because once they brought the right-hander in he had to face a hitter," Manuel said. "I mean, that's exactly the matchup we wanted."

With the victory, the Phillies averted a three-game sweep by the Diamondbacks and wrapped up a 4-6 road trip to Atlanta, San Francisco and Arizona.

"It's huge," Howard said. "We've been kind of up and down, trying to get a good end on this road trip. It helps us get out of here on a good note and get something started."

The Phillies hope the homer will signal an end to Howard's season-long slump.

"Ryan's going to be fine," Manuel said. "Ryan's special. He's been kind of fighting himself. This guy wants to do so good. When it's all said and done, he's going to have a tremendous year for us."

Howard's shot gave Jamie Moyer (4-2) the victory in the matchup of the oldest lefties in history -- the 44-year-old Moyer against Johnson, 43.

At a combined 88 years and 48 days, Johnson and Moyer broke the record set April 24 when Johnson faced San Diego's David Wells. Johnson and Wells were a combined 87 years and 300 days.

Striking out nine, including the first six men he faced, Johnson looked like the Big Unit who won five Cy Young awards. Johnson, who underwent back surgery last October, is still looking for his first victory in his return to Arizona after two frustrating seasons with the New York Yankees.

"I may have been the old Randy for six innings," Johnson said. "Then I just got old."

Still, Arizona manager Bob Melvin liked what he saw from Johnson.

"Great slider, good velocity on his fastball, had some edge, the whole bit," Melvin said. "He just pitched very well."

While Johnson was mowing down the Phillies, Moyer didn't let the Diamondbacks blow the game open. Pitching with his trademark efficiency, he allowed three runs and six hits in six-plus innings. He walked one and struck out four.

"I've seen Randy pitch my fair share of times," Moyer said. "You respect the pitcher that he is and the competitor that he is. I was able to keep it somewhat close."

Johnson outpitched his elder until the seventh, when he gave up a single to Aaron Roward, hit Chase Utley and walked Pat Burrell to load the bases with no outs. That's when Melvin summoned Medders, whose first delivery ended up in the seats.

It was the sixth homer for Howard, who hit a franchise-record 58 homers a year ago.

"I was just coming in trying to look for something good in the zone, just trying to knock in some runs," Howard said. "It wound up going over the fence."

Medders said he threw Howard an inside fastball, as he was instructed to do by his coaches.

"I got it in," Medders said. "That's where they wanted it. Good piece of hitting. I tip my hat."

Brett Myers pitched the final two innings for his third save in three chances.

Eric Byrnes homered for the second straight game, and Orlando Hudson also homered for the Diamondbacks.

Leading 6-3, the Phillies scored three runs in the ninth -- capped by Shane Victorino's two-run homer.


  • Johnson came within two of the modern record for strikeouts to start a game. Pitching for Houston, Jim Deshaies fanned the first eight Dodgers he faced on Sept. 23, 1986, in Houston.
  • Johnson's streak came two weeks after San Diego's Jake Peavy fanned nine straight Diamondbacks in a 3-2 loss to Arizona April 25 in Chase Field. Peavy came within one strike of former Met Tom Seaver's major league record for consecutive strikeouts, set on April 22, 1970, against San Diego.
  • Johnson and Moyer met for the first time since Sept. 21, 1989, when Johnson pitched for Seattle and Moyer Texas. The span of 17 years, 230 days is the longest period between starters for opposing pitchers in history. Asked if he remembered that game, Moyer replied, "No, do you?"
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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So much for a day off: Ryan Howard gets called into action in the seventh and unloads the bases.  (AP)
So much for a day off: Ryan Howard gets called into action in the seventh and unloads the bases. (AP)

Players of the Game

R. Howard
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1

R. Johnson
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 3
BB 1
K 9

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Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS5121010 .301
Shane Victorino, RF4212112 .281
Aaron Rowand, CF4220020 .360
Chase Utley, 2B4101011 .289
Pat Burrell, LF2100120 .237
    Michael Bourn, LF1011000 .278
Wes Helms, 1B2010010 .290
   a- Ryan Howard, PH-1B2114001 .204
Abraham Nunez, 3B4120001 .288
Carlos Ruiz, C4000013 .272
Jamie Moyer, P3000021 .158
    Brett Myers, P0000000 .000
a-homered for Helms in the 7th
2B - Jimmy Rollins (6, E. Gonzalez)
HR - Shane Victorino (2, E. Gonzalez), Ryan Howard (6, Medders)
SH - Brett Myers (1)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins (24), Shane Victorino 2 (15), Chase Utley (28), Michael Bourn (1), Ryan Howard 4 (23)
2-OUT RBI - Jimmy Rollins (10), Shane Victorino 2 (7)
Team LOB - 4
Philadelphia Phillies
Jamie Moyer (W,4-2) 7633142 3.00
Brett Myers (S,3) 2100020 5.53
Pitches-Strikes - Jamie Moyer 91-58, Brett Myers 30-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jamie Moyer 4-12, Brett Myers 2-2
Batters Faced - Jamie Moyer 27, Brett Myers 7
Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Young, CF3011010 .233
Stephen Drew, SS4000021 .234
Orlando Hudson, 2B4111011 .328
Eric Byrnes, LF4111011 .294
Conor Jackson, 1B3020110 .232
Carlos Quentin, RF4010003 .214
Chris Snyder, C4000003 .213
Alberto Callaspo, 3B3110001 .215
Randy Johnson, P1000000 .000
    Brandon Medders, P0000000 .000
   a- Scott Hairston, PH1000000 .209
    Dustin Nippert, P0000000 .000
    Doug Slaten, P0000000 .000
    Edgar Gonzalez, P0000000 .333
a-popped out for Medders in the 7th
2B - Alberto Callaspo (5, Moyer)
HR - Orlando Hudson (5, Moyer), Eric Byrnes (5, Moyer)
SF - Chris Young (2)
SH - Randy Johnson (2)
RBI - Chris Young (15), Orlando Hudson (27), Eric Byrnes (19)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Byrnes (7)
CS - Conor Jackson (1, 2nd base by Moyer/Ruiz)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Drew-Jackson, Hudson-Drew-Jackson
E - Conor Jackson (3, Throwing)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Randy Johnson 6433190 6.00
Brandon Medders (BS,1; L,1-1) 1111011 4.60
Dustin Nippert 0.1121100 3.86
Doug Slaten 0.2100000 1.00
Edgar Gonzalez 1333011 4.96
HBP - Utley (by Randy Johnson), Rowand (by Edgar Gonzalez)
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 101-71, Brandon Medders 12-8, Dustin Nippert 12-6, Doug Slaten 11-6, Edgar Gonzalez 27-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 3-5, Brandon Medders 1-1, Doug Slaten 2-0, Edgar Gonzalez 1-1
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 23, Brandon Medders 4, Dustin Nippert 3, Doug Slaten 3, Edgar Gonzalez 7
Game Information
Attendance - 25286
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Mike Muchlinski, Third Base - Bill Welke