Philly ace finishes off Braves
Posted: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 5:13 pm
By: By ROB MAADDI, AP Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nearly an hour after going the distance again, Roy Halladay walked over to reporters with ice on his arm and sweat dripping from his forehead.
Maybe it’s his postgame workouts that make Halladay such a workhorse on the mound.
Halladay pitched his major league-best seventh complete game this season, Greg Dobbs hit a two-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Monday night.
“He pitched a super game,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He’s a horse.”
Halladay (10-7) allowed five hits and struck out seven to record his second straight complete game. The All-Star right-hander outdueled Derek Lowe (9-7) and needed just 93 pitches to finish.
Then, he really broke a sweat on the stationary bike and doing arm exercises.
“Just getting the blood moving,” Halladay said.
Chipper Jones homered for the NL East-leading Braves.
The two-time NL champion Phillies, who lost three of four to lowly Pittsburgh over the weekend, need to win this three-game series to avoid losing more ground in the division. They’re 17-23 in the last 40 games and trail Atlanta by four games.
Lowe allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out six. The sinkerballer gave up only two flyouts.
“Lowe pitched another great game. Again we didn’t score any runs for him,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said.
Lowe was cruising until Jayson Werth hit a one-out single in the sixth. Dobbs hit the next pitch into the seats in right-center for his second homer and a 2-1 lead.
Dobbs used to be a top pinch-hitter for Philadelphia, but was outrighted to Triple-A last month because he’s struggled badly in that role. He was brought up when Chase Utley and Placido Polanco went on the disabled list last week and is making the most of his opportunity now that he’s getting more at-bats. Dobbs is 6 for 18 in the last four games.
“I feel good about my swing,” Dobbs said. “Seeing pitches on a daily basis helps. I feel confident. I feel in a rhythm.”
Juan Castro, who came in as a defensive replacement for Dobbs at third base in the eighth, gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead with a two-out, RBI single. Castro delivered after missing a suicide squeeze and Raul Ibanez was tagged out.
Jones gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the first when he hit the first pitch he saw from Halladay into the seats in left-center for just his sixth homer.
Halladay hasn’t received much run support from a previously high-powered offense that’s been inconsistent this season. The Phillies have scored a total of 12 runs in Halladay’s seven losses.
Acquired from Toronto in the offseason, the former AL Cy Young Award winner has lived up to enormous expectations. He has a 2.33 ERA and easily could have 14 or 15 wins if Philadelphia’s offense was better.
“It’s been a bit of a grind,” Halladay said. “I try and go out as intense as I can every time. If you do something different, it takes you out of your routine.”
Halladay improved to 3-0 lifetime against the Braves. He’s allowed only two runs — both homers to Jones — in 28 2/3 innings.
The Phillies reached the midpoint of the season at 43-38 — same as last year. But they had a two-game lead in the division at this point in 2009.
NOTES: Atlanta 1B Troy Glaus missed his third straight game with a sore left knee. … The Braves have lost just one series since dropping two of three in Philadelphia in May. Atlanta is 13-1-3 in 17 series since then. … A crowd of 45,404 was the 78th straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park. … Halladay went 6-1 with a 1.45 ERA in his first seven starts. He’s 4-6 with a 2.93 in 11 starts since. … Harold Garcia’s 37-game hitting streak came to an end for the Phillies’ Class-A Clearwater team. He went 0-for-3 with a walk in a loss to Daytona, ending the longest streak in Florida State League history.