After a walk-off win on Tuesday, Ryan Howard posed the question asking if anyone remembers his past contributions in the glory days of the Phillies. On Thursday, everyone got a modern-day reminder.
Howard stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded with the Phillies trailing by three. Tony Sipp‘s 3-2 pitch was hit into the air and sailed into the seats in left-center field for a go-ahead grand slam.
That was the difference as the Phillies rallied back from a four-run deficit in the eighth to complete the sweep on the Houston Astros with a 6-5 win at Citizens Bank Park.
The Astros wasted no time getting on the board with the long ball. Chris Carter opened the scoring, belting a two-run home run off Sean O’Sullivan. Marc Krauss went back-to-back with Carter to give the Astros an early 3-0 lead in the first.
Carter added a second blast in the third, going deep to center for his 24th home run of the season.
The Phillies got on the board in the second, getting three straight hits. The last was an RBI single by Carlos Ruiz, plating Marlon Byrd.
Collin McHugh threw a solid outing, lasting seven innings and allowing one run on five hits. He struck out eight and did not issue a walk.
O’Sullivan made it through six innings allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Mario Hollands worked two scoreless innings allowing one hit.
In the eighth, Ruiz led off with a double and scored on an RBI single by Cody Asche. Asche advanced to third after an infield single by Ben Revere and another single by Jimmy Rollins. That brought Chase Utley to the plate with one out and the bases loaded.
Utley worked the count in his favor at 2-0, but swung at the next pitch and popped up to left, holding the runners.
Howard came to the plate 0-for-3 on the night and worked the count full, fouling off several pitches. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Howard connected and skied a ball to left-center that just cleared the fence for a go-ahead grand slam. It was Howard’s 18th home run of the season.
Jonathan Papelbon did the rest, working a clean ninth inning for his 27th save of the season.
Ruiz and Revere had multi-hit games for the Phillies. Carter had three of the Astros eight hits.
The Phillies completed the sweep of the Astros, marking their seventh straight home win against Houston. They remain home over the weekend for a four-game series against the Mets.
A.J. Burnett starts the opener of the series facing Bartolo Colon. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
L: Tony Sipp (2-2)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (27)