avoided the bad inning that's been haunting him, and
prevented a complete meltdown by the bullpen.
Blanton had a career-high 11 strikeouts in seven scoreless innings, Lidge got the final out with the tying run in scoring
position, and the
held on to beat the
5-3 Tuesday night.
Blanton (3-3) allowed five hits in his best outing since last August. He lowered his ERA from 7.11 to 6.14.
''He was aggressive,'' Phillies manager
said. ''He made good pitches when he had to. He went right after hitters. He wasn't trying to trick them.''
Lidge pitched out of jam in the ninth to earn his ninth save in 13 chances. Lidge, who was 48-for-48 last year, including
the postseason, blew consecutive save opportunities against the
New York Yankees
''That was big,'' Manuel said. ''He needs some outings where he gets people out.''
had four hits and
had two hits and two RBIs for the NL East-leading Phillies, who have won nine of 12.
(1-2) gave up four runs - two earned - and seven hits in six innings.
''I kind of put us in a hole,'' Miller said.
retired one batter in the ninth and left after loading the bases.
came in and got
to hit a grounder to first baseman
, who made a wild throw to second that allowed two runs to score. It was Howard's first error this year.
Lidge entered with runners at second and third. He walked
to load the bases again. After
's RBI groundout to first made it 5-3, Lidge struck out
to end it.
''We were trying to get their closer up and we got him in the game, so good for us,'' Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Pitching in short sleeves on a cold, damp night, Blanton looked nothing like the pitcher who struggled the first two months.
Only one runner reached third base against him. He retired 11 of his last 12 batters, fanning five of the final six.
Blanton hadn't pitched this well since last Aug. 8, when he allowed no runs and one hit in seven innings of a 2-0 loss to
''I knew I was close,'' Blanton said. ''I got myself into some good pitching counts.''
The Phillies quickly jumped ahead in the first, taking a 3-0 lead.
started the inning by reaching safely on shortstop
's throwing error. Victorino doubled and
walked to load the bases.
Miller then walked Howard to force in a run.
followed with a sacrifice fly. After
struck out, Feliz drove in another run with an infield single to make it 3-0.
Victorino's two-out RBI double in the sixth gave the Phillies a 4-0 lead. Feliz had an RBI double after Werth doubled with
two outs in the seventh off reliever Christopher Leroux, who made his major league debut.
Blanton pitched out of a two-out jam in the second, retiring Miller on a grounder to shortstop to leave the bases loaded.
''Blanton was terrific,'' Gonzalez said.
Notes: The Mets-Phillies game that was rained out on May 3 will be played as part of a day-night doubleheader on Sept. 13.
The regularly scheduled game will start at 1:05 p.m. and the nightcap is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ... Ramirez left with tightness
in his groin in the third, shortly after he beat out a grounder to shortstop for an infield single. Gonzalez said the All-Star
shortstop will be evaluated on Wednesday. ... Blanton's previous high was 10 strikeouts while pitching for Oakland against
the Angels on Aug. 31, 2005. ... Blanton allowed four or more runs in five of his first eight starts.