Phillies Notes: Phillies' Erik Kratz ends game with strikeout in good at-bat

Philadelphia Phillies' Jimmy Rollins watches his three run home against the Kansas City Royals in the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday April 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. The Royals won 9-8. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)
Philadelphia Phillies' Jimmy Rollins watches his three run home against the Kansas City Royals in the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday April 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. The Royals won 9-8. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr) (H. Rumph Jr)
Posted: April 09, 2013

When the Phillies entered the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday trailing the Kansas City Royals, 9-4, the last thing anyone expected was a dramatic ending.

But after Jimmy Rollins' three-run shot and Laynce Nix's pinch-hit RBI single cut the lead to 9-8, the game's final at-bat had plenty of pitches and drama.

Erik Kratz finally struck out on a 1-2 change-up and the Royals prevailed, but the Phillies catcher battled righthander Kelvin Herrera. The reliever displayed both gas and a nasty change-up.

Kratz quickly got behind, 0-2.

It was 1-2 after a wild pitch.

Then came the drama.

Kratz fouled off five straight pitches. The fourth of the foul balls was off an 86-m.p.h. change-up, followed by a 97-m.p.h. fastball. Finally, Herrera got Kratz swinging on an 84-m.p.h. change-up.

"Everybody will see on the highlights the pitch of me striking out," Kratz said. "The pitch before, two pitches before, I had a chance at a good rip and fouled it back, and you can't miss any big-league pitcher who makes a mistake."

Manager Charlie Manuel liked Kratz's approach.

"I thought Kratz had a good at-bat and really battled the guy," Manuel said.

Kratz gave Herrera credit for finally striking him out on the change-up.

"It started over the plate and kind of finished in," Kratz said. "It was a good pitch."

Delivered by a good pitcher.

"At no point did I feel I was out of the at-bat or overmatched," Kratz said. "I was trying to put the barrel on it."

Big day for Young

Michael Young had his best day as a Phillie, going 4 for 5 with a double and his first RBI. Young bats fifth, and his double was the first extra-base hit this season by the No. 5 or cleanup hitter (Ryan Howard).

"I have been feeling good the last few days and I know I have been making progress," said Young, who had his 24th career four-hit game.

Doc tries again

Roy Halladay will take a 13.50 ERA to the mound Monday night when the Phillies open a three-game series against the visiting Mets. Righthander Matt Harvey (1-0) will start for New York.

Extra bases

The Phillies scored 16 runs in losing two of three to the Royals. Of the 16 runs, 12 came in either the first or ninth innings. . . . Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins have reached base in all six games so far. . . . The team's bullpen has inherited 11 runners this season, and 10 have scored. . . . Hamels allowed a career-high eight earned runs. His previous high was seven, which he allowed six times.

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