|Philadelphia (48-38) «||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||x||5||6||0|
Feliz hit a first-inning grand slam, and Happ yielded one run in seven innings to help Philadelphia cap a 9-1 homestand with a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday. The winning run has erased much of the misery of the 4-14 stretch that preceded it.
"We came off of a real down spell, came home and won some games here," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We've been able to put a little streak together before the break."
The Phillies, who won their fifth in a row, scored five times in the first off rookie Virgil Vasquez.
Happ (6-0) welcomed the support and handcuffed the Pirates most of the afternoon. The left-hander recorded his fifth consecutive strong outing, compiling a 2.00 ERA during that span and solidifying a spot in the starting rotation. Happ began the season in the bullpen, but has since switched spots with Chan Ho Park, a move that has worked out well for both.
"Seems like it makes sense that way," said Happ, who has always stated his preference for being a starter.
Jimmy Rollins began the game with a walk, his 10th of the homestand, and Shane Victorino and Chase Utley followed with singles off Vasquez (1-3). Ryan Howard plated the first run with a sacrifice fly to deep center. Three batters later, Feliz sent Vasquez's pitch into first few rows in left field.
"I was happy to do that for the team," said Feliz, whose grand slam was the sixth of his career. "I was trying to get a good pitch to hit. He was a little high, and I got a good swing."
Added Vasquez, "I almost got out of that inning with a little pain, but he got me."
Philadelphia chased the right-hander, who was making his fourth major league start, after Rollins and Victorino reached again with one out in the second.
The Pirates hit into three double plays, including the seventh, when McCutchen fell for a fake by Rollins and Utley on a fly to right, and was doubled off first base.
"A young baserunning mistake," Russell said. "We're young, but we're making improvements."
Left fielder Garrett Jones led off the ninth with his fifth home run, third in three games.
Solid pitching and a resurgent offense has contributed to Philadelphia's best homestand since May 31-June 12, 2005, when they went 12-1. The Phillies (48-38) enter the All-Star break with a four-game lead over the second-place Marlins.
At the break last year, Philadelphia was 52-44 and a half game ahead of the New York Mets.
"We finally put it together at home and got some wins," Happ said. "We're in a good position now, and hopefully we'll stay there."
Howard said the plan during the bad stretch was to remember that good times will follow, like they did during last season's World Series run.
"We don't panic," Howard said. "We knew we were going to play better. It was just a matter of time."
|Welcome home party: Pedro Feliz receives props following his first-inning grand slam. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Andrew McCutchen, CF||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.292|
|Freddy Sanchez, 2B||4||0||2||1||0||0||2||.316|
|Garrett Jones, LF||4||1||1||1||0||1||2||.310|
|Ryan Doumit, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.224|
|Delwyn Young, RF||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.311|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.250|
|Andy LaRoche, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.269|
|Jack Wilson, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.270|
|Virgil Vasquez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeff Karstens, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.059|
|a- Luis Cruz, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Evan Meek, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Donnie Veal, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jeff Salazar, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Joel Hanrahan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-popped out for Karstens in the 6th|
|b-popped out for Veal in the 8th|
|2B - Freddy Sanchez (27, Happ), Jack Wilson (18, Madson)|
|HR - Garrett Jones (5, Romero)|
|RBI - Freddy Sanchez (34), Garrett Jones (7)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Virgil Vasquez (L,1-3)||1.1||4||5||5||3||1||1||6.52|
|Pitches-Strikes - Virgil Vasquez 48-24, Jeff Karstens 35-24, Evan Meek 11-7, Donnie Veal 16-9, Joel Hanrahan 11-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Karstens 4-3, Joel Hanrahan 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Virgil Vasquez 11, Jeff Karstens 12, Evan Meek 4, Donnie Veal 4, Joel Hanrahan 3|
|Jimmy Rollins, SS||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.229|
|Shane Victorino, CF||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.309|
|Chase Utley, 2B||4||1||2||0||0||0||2||.313|
|Ryan Howard, 1B||2||0||0||1||1||2||3||.257|
|Raul Ibanez, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.309|
|Jayson Werth, RF||3||1||0||0||1||1||0||.263|
|Pedro Feliz, 3B||4||1||2||4||0||1||0||.293|
|Carlos Ruiz, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.235|
|J.A. Happ, P||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.050|
|Ryan Madson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|J.C. Romero, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|2B - Jimmy Rollins (21, Vasquez), Pedro Feliz (18, Meek)|
|HR - Pedro Feliz (6, Vasquez)|
|SF - Ryan Howard (3)|
|RBI - Ryan Howard (67), Pedro Feliz 4 (45)|
|2-OUT RBI - Pedro Feliz 4 (23)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Jayson Werth 1|
|DP - Feliz-Utley-Howard, Utley, Werth-Howard|
|J.A. Happ (W,6-0)||7||4||1||1||2||4||0||2.90|
|Pitches-Strikes - J.A. Happ 103-67, Ryan Madson 6-5, J.C. Romero 20-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 6-9, J.C. Romero 1-0|
|Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 25, Ryan Madson 4, J.C. Romero 4|
|Attendance - 45245|
|Game Time - 2:23|
|Temperature - 82|
|Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Greg Gibson|