|Philadelphia (52-31) «||0||1||1||0||0||1||2||0||2||7||11||1|
TORONTO -- One day after saying he was tired of gripes about Philadelphia's struggling bats, Ryan Howard's big hit capped an offensive outburst and led to a comeback win.
"This is what we're capable of doing," Howard said. "But at the same time, you've got to know that baseball is an up-and-down type game. As long as you can outscore your opponent, that's the name of the game. It doesn't matter how many runs you get."
|More on Phillies at Blue Jays|
The Phillies, owners of the best record in baseball, have succeeded mostly thanks to strong pitching, and scoring more than their staff allows. They entered play Friday ranked eighth in the NL in runs, and 13th in the majors.
"I'm tired of hearing everybody talk about how many runs we don't score," Howard said after Thursday's 5-2 loss to Boston. "We score enough runs to win games and that's what's important."
They scored just enough Friday, rallying from a 6-5 deficit in the ninth against Blue Jays closer Frank Francisco.
"The ball was really tailing away from him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "That wasn't an easy play."
Blue Jays manager John Farrell said he considered putting a defensive replacement in for Rivera, but decided against it.
"Any time you give up those type of plays and give an extra out, those are hard to overcome," Farrell said.
Howard followed with a two-run single to center, giving Francisco (1-4) his fourth blown save in 13 chances.
"Both teams battled hard, neither team wanted to budge," Howard said. "It was pretty much a fight all the way down to the end."
Philadelphia's late comeback overcame Jose Bautista's 25th home run and a mammoth two-run drive by Toronto rookie outfielder Eric Thames. The Blue Jays have homered in a season-high nine consecutive games, hitting 15 in that span.
Starting in place of injured right-hander Roy Oswalt (back), Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick allowed six runs and eight hits in seven innings, matching his longest start of the season. He walked one and struck out five.
"He kept us in the game," Manuel said. "He pitched a Kyle Kendrick game. That's how I looked at it. He battled and stayed in there."
The Blue Jays jumped on Kendrick with two in the first. Shortstop Yunel Escobar had to leave the game for X-rays after being hit on the left hand by a pitch, with Aaron Hill replacing him. One out later, Hill went to third on Bautista's ground-rule double, with both runners scoring on Edwin Encarnacion's double.
X-rays and a CAT scan came back negative and Escobar is day-to-day.
Ben Francisco hit an RBI double in the second and the Phillies tied it with an unearned run in the third. Utley was hit by a pitch and went to second when Howard reached on Hill's fielding error. Victorino followed with an RBI single.
Thames put Toronto back on top in the fifth with a massive two-run homer into the third deck in right, his second.
Philadelphia got one back in the sixth. Dominic Brown doubled and stole third before scoring on a base hit by Carlos Ruiz.
The Phillies took a short-lived lead in the top of the seventh. Howard chased Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero with a sharp single through the shift and scored when Victorino tripled off Jason Frasor. Ben Francisco followed with a sacrifice fly to left, with Victorino sliding home safely ahead of a wide throw from Rivera.
Romero allowed four runs, three earned, and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, the first time in 10 starts he's failed to work at least seven frames. Romero walked four and struck out three.
Toronto reclaimed the lead in the bottom half when Bautista hit a two-run homer to left, his 25th, tying Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira for the major-league lead. Bautista went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk and scored twice.
Before the game, former Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay received a standing ovation as he carried the lineup card to home plate. Halladay tipped his cap to the Canada Day crowd of 45,512 and shook hands with Blue Jays third base coach Brian Butterfield.
"I thought it was great, very classy," Howard said. "For what he's done here for the city and the organization, I thought it was very nice for them to recognize that."
Halladay, who won 148 games in 12 seasons with the Blue Jays, was traded to Philadelphia following the 2009 season. This is his first appearance in Toronto since the trade. He'll face the Blue Jays on Saturday, pitching against right-hander Carlos Villanueva.
The Blue Jays were scheduled to host the Phillies in June 2010, but the series was moved to Philadelphia because it conflicted with the G20 Summit in downtown Toronto.
|Ryan Howard smacks a go-ahead, two-run single in the ninth inning to vault the Phillies to a win in Toronto. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
|Jimmy Rollins, DH||4||0||0||0||1||0||2||.251|
|Placido Polanco, 3B||4||1||0||0||1||1||2||.284|
|Chase Utley, 2B||4||2||2||0||0||0||1||.287|
|Ryan Howard, 1B||5||1||2||2||0||1||2||.257|
|Shane Victorino, CF||4||2||3||2||1||0||1||.296|
|Ben Francisco, LF||4||0||2||2||0||1||3||.226|
|Domonic Brown, RF||4||1||1||0||1||0||3||.216|
|Carlos Ruiz, C||5||0||1||1||0||0||6||.242|
|Wilson Valdez, SS||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.239|
|a- Ross Gload, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.308|
|Michael Martinez, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.188|
|a-flied out for Valdez in the 8th|
|2B - Chase Utley (6, Francisco), Ben Francisco 2 (7, R. Romero, Francisco), Domonic Brown (8, R. Romero)|
|3B - Shane Victorino (9, Frasor)|
|SF - Ben Francisco (2)|
|RBI - Ryan Howard 2 (66), Shane Victorino 2 (33), Ben Francisco 2 (30), Carlos Ruiz (17)|
|SB - Chase Utley (6, 2nd base off R. Romero/Arencibia), Domonic Brown (3, 3rd base off R. Romero/Arencibia)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - Utley-Valdez-Howard, Valdez-Utley-Howard|
|E - Ryan Howard (3, Missed catch of throw)|
|Danys Baez (W,2-3)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||5.35|
|Antonio Bastardo (S,4)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0.90|
|HBP - Escobar (by Kyle Kendrick), J. Rivera (by Kyle Kendrick)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Kendrick 93-65, Danys Baez 10-6, Antonio Bastardo 18-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Kendrick 8-7, Danys Baez 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Kyle Kendrick 31, Danys Baez 3, Antonio Bastardo 3|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Yunel Escobar, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.289|
|Aaron Hill, PR-2B||4||3||2||0||0||1||1||.243|
|Eric Thames, RF||4||1||2||2||0||1||2||.309|
|Jose Bautista, 3B||3||2||2||2||1||0||1||.330|
|Adam Lind, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.306|
|Edwin Encarnacion, DH||4||0||1||2||0||2||1||.250|
|Juan Rivera, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.246|
|J.P. Arencibia, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.223|
|Rajai Davis, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.227|
|John McDonald, 2B-SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.191|
|2B - Jose Bautista (14, Kendrick), Edwin Encarnacion (18, Kendrick)|
|HR - Eric Thames (2, Kendrick), Jose Bautista (25, Kendrick)|
|RBI - Eric Thames 2 (7), Jose Bautista 2 (54), Edwin Encarnacion 2 (17)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jose Bautista 2 (13), Edwin Encarnacion 2 (5)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - McDonald-Hill-Lind|
|E - Aaron Hill (4, Misplayed grounder)|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Jason Frasor (BS,2)||0.2||1||1||1||0||0||0||2.70|
|Jon Rauch (H,3)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.93|
|Frank Francisco (BS,4; L,1-4)||0.1||3||2||2||1||0||0||5.01|
|HBP - Utley (by Ricky Romero)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Romero 109-66, Jason Frasor 14-8, Jon Rauch 10-7, Frank Francisco 26-17, Marc Rzepczynski 5-4|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Romero 10-6, Jason Frasor 1-1, Marc Rzepczynski 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Ricky Romero 31, Jason Frasor 3, Jon Rauch 3, Frank Francisco 5, Marc Rzepczynski 2|
|Attendance - 45512|
|Game Time - 3:02|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Ed Rapuano|