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Rollins' homer helps Happ earn 11th win as Phils roll

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

MILWAUKEE -- J.A. Happ might be the Philadelphia Phillies' answer to their late-inning bullpen woes when it comes time for the postseason.

Jimmy Rollins capped a six-run fifth inning with a three-run homer and Ryan Howard drove in two runs to help the Happ earn his 11th win, a 9-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night.

 Playoff Race

"There's a chance he could wind up in the back end of the bullpen if we don't get something straightened out," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of the rookie left-hander. "Like if [J.C.] Romero don't come back or something. I'm not saying we're going to do that, but we're going to talk about it, if we don't have no lefty."

Phillies closer Brad Lidge has blown a major league-leading 11 saves this season and Ryan Madson has been ineffective finishing games for the NL East leaders.

Happ (11-4) tied Randy Wells of the Chicago Cubs for the most victories by a rookie as he turned in a much better performance against Milwaukee than his previous start.

"He hides the ball real well," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "We just couldn't get the key hit."

On Sept. 18 at Atlanta, Happ went just three innings in the shortest start of his career, leaving for precautionary reasons. He had strained his right oblique during batting practice Sept. 5 and missed two starts due to the injury.

Happ retired the first seven batters, the last five on strikeouts, before Jason Kendall hit a sinking liner in the third that left fielder Ben Francisco made a diving attempt to catch, but missed. The ball rolled to the wall as Kendall legged out his second triple of the season. One out later, Happ deflected Lopez's smash up the middle toward second where Chase Utley's low throw handcuffed Howard at first and squirted away as the run scored.

"Howard's played pretty good first base, but tonight it looked like a juggling act or something, a circus or something," Manuel said. "The ball was running up his arm, hitting him in the chest. That means Howard will play better tomorrow."

Pedro Feliz, who batted seventh, had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run for Philadelphia, who amassed 14 hits and reduced their magic number to clinch the NL East to four.

Howard came into the game an RBI behind Prince Fielder, who entered with 131, for the major league lead, but he drove in Utley with two outs in the first and added another in the eighth.

Fielder hit a run-scoring grounder in the bottom of the ninth to tie the sluggers at 132.

Milwaukee starter Jeff Suppan (7-11) immediately gave the run back on consecutive doubles by Francisco and Feliz to start the fourth.

Leading 2-1, the Phillies broke the game open with six runs in the fifth to chase Suppan.

Jayson Werth reached on shortstop Alcides Escobar's throwing error and then four consecutive singles produced three runs, including one by Happ for his first career RBI, who drove in his first run, just before Rollins hit his 20th of the season.

Suppan was booed as he walked off the field.

"When he's right and he's putting the ball where he wants to, he can be tough," Manuel said of Suppan. "We were fortunate that the bottom of the lineup hurt him. That was the thing -- kind of did him in."

Paul Bako, who batted eighth, had two hits, scored a run and drove one in.

"We just couldn't stop the bleeding," Macha said of the Phillies' fifth. "Even the pitcher got a hit."

Suppan allowed eight runs -- seven earned -- and a season-high 12 hits over 4 1/3 innings.

"I just couldn't make a pitch in the fifth when I need to, and they put up a big number," Suppan said.

Happ left with an 8-2 lead and two outs in the sixth after the Brewers scored a run on consecutive doubles by Fielder and Casey McGehee. He allowed two runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Notes

  • Happ leads all rookies in ERA (2.79), complete games (three), shutouts (two), strikeouts (112) and innings pitched (158 1-3).
  • Phillies C Carlos Ruiz was not with the team after being sent home on Wednesday to undergo an MRI on his sprained left wrist. He had a cortisone shot on Thursday in Philadelphia and then left to join his teammates at Miller Park. He is not expected to play for a few days.
  • Milwaukee (75-78) is out of the playoff race, but hopes to keep Ken Macha's streak of winning records alive. The Brewers' first-year manager, who led the Oakland Athletics for four years and two teams in the minors for four seasons, has never finished below .500.
 
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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J.A. Happ earns his 11th win and leads rookies in ERA, complete games, shutouts, K's and innings.  (AP)
J.A. Happ earns his 11th win and leads rookies in ERA, complete games, shutouts, K's and innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

J. Rollins
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Milwaukee

C. McGehee
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS4223101 .246
Shane Victorino, CF5030003 .297
Chase Utley, 2B5100006 .291
Ryan Howard, 1B5012021 .271
Jayson Werth, RF4100123 .269
Ben Francisco, LF5220014 .255
Pedro Feliz, 3B5132010 .266
Paul Bako, C5121001 .208
J.A. Happ, P2111002 .095
    Chad Durbin, P1000010 .143
    Tyler Walker, P0000000 .000
   a- Greg Dobbs, PH1000010 .257
    Clay Condrey, P0000000 .000
Totals42914928  
a-struck out for T. Walker in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ben Francisco (28, Suppan), Pedro Feliz (28, Suppan)
HR - Jimmy Rollins (20, Suppan)
SH - J.A. Happ (6)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins 3 (75), Ryan Howard 2 (132), Pedro Feliz 2 (72), Paul Bako (7), J.A. Happ (1)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Howard (37)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Shane Victorino 1
E - Ryan Howard (14, Missed catch of throw)
Philadelphia Phillies
J.A. Happ (W,11-4) 5.2622270 2.79
Chad Durbin 1.1000210 4.71
Tyler Walker 1200010 2.23
Clay Condrey 1220000 3.12
HBP - Kendall (by Tyler Walker)
Pitches-Strikes - J.A. Happ 91-58, Chad Durbin 23-12, Tyler Walker 30-20, Clay Condrey 17-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 1-8, Chad Durbin 2-1, Clay Condrey 3-1
Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 24, Chad Durbin 6, Tyler Walker 6, Clay Condrey 6
Milwaukee Brewers
Felipe Lopez, 2B4121101 .311
Corey Hart, RF3010200 .257
Ryan Braun, LF5100036 .312
Prince Fielder, 1B5121010 .297
Casey McGehee, 3B5022011 .304
Mike Cameron, CF4000122 .249
Alcides Escobar, SS4010012 .295
Jason Kendall, C3120000 .240
Jeff Suppan, P1000001 .154
    Chris Smith, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Bourgeois, PH1000011 .176
    Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .111
   b- Frank Catalanotto, PH1000000 .278
    Josh Butler, P0000000 .000
   c- Jody Gerut, PH1000003 .236
    John Axford, P0000000 .000
Totals37410449  
a-struck out for Smith in the 5th
b-grounded out for Villanueva in the 7th
c-flied out for Butler in the 8th
Batting
2B - Prince Fielder (34, Happ), Casey McGehee (19, Happ)
3B - Jason Kendall (2, Happ)
RBI - Felipe Lopez (54), Prince Fielder (132), Casey McGehee 2 (63)
2-OUT RBI - Felipe Lopez (25), Casey McGehee 2 (36)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
E - Alcides Escobar (5, Throwing), Felipe Lopez (15, Misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
Jeff Suppan (L,7-11) 4.11287221 5.04
Chris Smith 0.2000000 3.19
Carlos Villanueva 2000040 5.32
Josh Butler 1211010 9.00
John Axford 1000010 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 105-59, Chris Smith 9-6, Carlos Villanueva 25-18, Josh Butler 18-13, John Axford 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 6-6, Chris Smith 1-1, Carlos Villanueva 1-1, Josh Butler 2-1, John Axford 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 28, Chris Smith 2, Carlos Villanueva 6, Josh Butler 6, John Axford 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37678
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Dana DeMuth