Long games are trending in 2014 for the Phillies. On Aug. 5, with 49 games still left on the schedule, the Phillies played their fifth game that went into the 14th inning, tying a franchise record.
Ryan Howard was at the plate with a chance to avoid that lengthy game in the eighth. Instead of driving in the go-ahead run with a hit, he grounded into a double play to end the inning. In the 15th, with just one hit – the one that plated the Phillies only run of the night – Chase Utley was intentionally walked in front of Howard.
Howard singled through the shift and Grady Sizemore came around third to score, giving the Phillies a 2-1 win in 15 innings over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Howard’s first contribution came in the second. He belted a breaking ball to left-center into the flower beds for his 17th home run of the season to give the Phillies the lead.
Kyle Kendrick had struggled for much of the season, but turned in one of his better outings on the season. Kendrick was perfect into the fourth and kept the Astros off the board through six innings.
In the seventh, the Astros got the tying run. Chris Carter walked and Jason Castro singled to put two runners on base. Jonathan Singleton followed with an RBI single to tie the game.
Kendrick allowed one run on five hits in seven innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
The innings continued to pile up after that. But the Phillies bullpen kept extending the game with a solid night.
Ken Giles worked a perfect eighth, striking out two. Jonathan Papelbon walked two but struck out the side to send the game to extras. Jake Diekman allowed a hit and a walk but escaped the 10th in a tie game. Antonio Bastardo worked two scoreless innings. He walked one but struck out all six other batters faced. Justin De Fratus and Mario Hollands each worked scoreless innings to get through the 14th.
In the 15th, the Phillies turned to Hector Neris in his major-league debut. He struck out one in a perfect inning.
In the bottom of the 15th, the Phillies got a lead-off baserunner on a single by Sizemore. After a bunt moved him to second, Jimmy Rollins flied out to center. The Astros gave Utley a free pass before Howard singled through the shift into right field for the game-winning hit.
The Phillies had nine hits on the game with four players each recording two hits. Ben Revere, Cody Asche, Sizemore and Howard each posted two hits. Utley had the other Phillies hit.
The Phillies improved to 50-63 with the win and return on Wednesday night to face the Astros again. David Buchanan gets the start against Brad Peacock.
L: Jake Buchanan (1-2)