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Polanco gets 2,000th hit in Phillies' win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- A lost year has reinvigorated Joe Blanton.

The Phillies right-hander pitched seven-plus strong innings and Placido Polanco hit a home run for his 2,000th career hit to lead Philadelphia to a 5-1 victory against the Houston Astros on Monday night.

Blanton (4-3) allowed six hits and one run, struck out seven and walked one while pitching in a steady light rain throughout. He continued his solid recent stretch, improving to 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA in his past four starts.

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"He got there pretty easy," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Blanton reaching the eighth. "He's pitching real good."

It's been quite a turnaround for Blanton, who missed most of last season with an elbow injury that limited him to 41 1/3 innings and eight starts. But the time away proved beneficial -- both physically and mentally.

"Physically, I feel better than I have in a couple years and mechanically, too," he said. "I'm having fun with the game again. You feel like a kid again after missing so much time. It's nice to be out there and contribute to help us win games."

Blanton got a lift from a Philadelphia offense that has been subpar for much of the season, but has come on of late.

Freddy Galvis had three hits and drove in a pair of runs and Carlos Ruiz went 2 for 4 with an RBI for the Phillies, who have won three of four since manager Manuel's much-publicized team meeting last Wednesday.

The highlight, of course, was Polanco's eighth-inning home run that allowed him to reach the milestone.

"It means a lot, means I've been around for a while," Polanco said. "However, I'm not thinking about that. I'm trying to win games and hopefully a championship."

Said Blanton: "It shows you're good and good for a long time. That's impressive to see."

Marwin Gonzalez, pinch hitting to lead off the eighth, hit his first major-league home run for the Astros' lone run.

Carlos Lee went 3 for 4 for Houston, which has lost six of eight after a season-best five-game winning streak. Lee, who recorded all three hits off Blanton, now is 9 for 18 lifetime against the Philadelphia pitcher.

The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning on Galvis' RBI single to right. Philadelphia was helped in the frame by shortstop Jed Lowrie's fielding error on John Mayberry Jr.'s grounder up the middle, making the run unearned for Houston right-hander Lucas Harrell (2-3). The Phillies could have added to the advantage, but stranded the bases loaded on Juan Pierre's groundout.

Philadelphia went up 3-0 in the sixth on Ruiz's single to left that scored Shane Victorino, who opened the frame with a triple, and Galvis' opposite-field single. Galvis' hit came off Wilton Lopez, who relieved Harrell.

Rather than walk Galvis and load the bases for Blanton, Astros manager Brad Mills elected to pitch to Galvis. And the rookie who is filling in for injured All-Star Chase Utley (knee) at second base, made Houston pay with an opposite-field liner that scored Polanco.

Galvis, batting .231, now has 15 RBI on only 25 hits.

Harrell left after allowing three runs -- two earned -- on five hits in 5 2/3 innings, with three strikeouts and two walks. He was noticeably upset when he left the field and in the dugout.

"I was pretty frustrated," Harrell said. "That's the best I've thrown the ball all year, hands down. I had good location and thought everything was really working tonight. I'm out there competing and the guys are competing too. I had some frustration built up."

The Astros nearly got on the board twice against Blanton, with Lee, in the fourth, and Brian Bogusevic, in the sixth, barely missing home runs down the left-field line.

Altuve followed Gonzalez's home run in the eighth with a single to left, ending the night for Blanton. But Philadelphia relievers Antonio Bastardo and Chad Qualls combined on a scoreless eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon tossed a scoreless ninth, striking out the side, in a non-save situation.

Polanco reached his milestone with a two-run homer, his first off the year, to left field off David Carpenter in the eighth.

"I knew I hit it pretty good and hoped it dropped somewhere," Polanco said.

Notes

  • Opponents have one hit in their past 23 at-bats against Bastardo.
  • The Phillies' crowd of 43,824 was the 221st consecutive regular-season sellout, and 237th straight including postseason play.
  • The Astros dropped to 32-21 against the Phillies since 2004, still the only NL club with a winning record against Philadelphia during that span. Houston also is the lone NL club with a winning record at Citizens Bank Park, going 16-11 against Philadelphia since the park opened in 2004.
 
Copyright 2014 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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The Phillies' Placido Polanco homers to record career hit No. 2,000th.  (Getty Images)
The Phillies' Placido Polanco homers to record career hit No. 2,000th. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

P. Polanco
AB 3
R 3
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Houston

C. Lee
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Altuve, 2B4010010 .321
Jordan Schafer, CF3000000 .244
   a- Justin Maxwell, PH-CF1000011 .238
Jed Lowrie, SS3000121 .275
Carlos Lee, 1B4030001 .285
Brian Bogusevic, RF4000033 .234
Chris Johnson, 3B4010021 .298
Travis Buck, LF4000012 .241
Chris Snyder, C4010021 .154
Lucas Harrell, P2000001 .214
    Wilton Lopez, P0000000 .000
    Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
   b- Marwin Gonzalez, PH1111000 .229
    David Carpenter, P0000000 .000
Totals34171112  
a-struck out for Schafer in the 8th
b-homered for Abad in the 8th
Batting
HR - Marwin Gonzalez (1, Blanton)
RBI - Marwin Gonzalez (2)
SB - Jose Altuve (6, 2nd base off Bastardo/Ruiz)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Travis Buck 1
DP - Altuve-Lee
E - Jed Lowrie (3, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Lucas Harrell (L,2-3) 5.2532230 4.40
Wilton Lopez 0.1100000 1.66
Fernando Abad 1000010 6.00
David Carpenter 1422021 4.02
IBB - Rollins by Lucas Harrell
HBP - Ruiz (by Lucas Harrell)
Pitches-Strikes - Lucas Harrell 81-52, Wilton Lopez 4-3, Fernando Abad 13-10, David Carpenter 26-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lucas Harrell 9-5
Batters Faced - Lucas Harrell 25, Wilton Lopez 1, Fernando Abad 3, David Carpenter 7
Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jimmy Rollins, SS3000110 .225
Juan Pierre, LF4000003 .337
    Ty Wigginton, 1B0000000 .264
Shane Victorino, CF4110010 .259
Hunter Pence, RF4010021 .243
Carlos Ruiz, C3121001 .340
Placido Polanco, 3B3312102 .281
John Mayberry Jr., 1B-LF4020011 .247
Freddy Galvis, 2B4032000 .231
Joe Blanton, P2000011 .083
    Antonio Bastardo, P0000000 .000
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH1000002 .000
    Jonathan Papelbon, P0000000 .000
Totals32510526  
a-flied out for Qualls in the 8th
Batting
2B - John Mayberry Jr. (5, Harrell)
3B - Shane Victorino (2, Harrell)
HR - Placido Polanco (1, Carpenter)
SH - Joe Blanton (2)
RBI - Carlos Ruiz (23), Placido Polanco 2 (8), Freddy Galvis 2 (15)
2-OUT RBI - Placido Polanco 2 (4), Freddy Galvis (7)
Team LOB - 7
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Blanton (W,4-3) 7611171 2.96
Antonio Bastardo (H,7) 0.2000020 1.64
Chad Qualls (H,7) 0.1000000 2.84
Jonathan Papelbon 1100030 2.40
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 106-70, Antonio Bastardo 11-6, Chad Qualls 4-2, Jonathan Papelbon 14-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 9-5
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 28, Antonio Bastardo 2, Chad Qualls 1, Jonathan Papelbon 4
Game Information
Attendance - 43824
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Dan Bellino