Papelbon allows big double to Pence as Giants top Phillies

YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Chase Utley tags out Giants' Ehire Adrianza trying to steal second base in the sixth inning.
YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Chase Utley tags out Giants' Ehire Adrianza trying to steal second base in the sixth inning.
Posted: July 25, 2014

JUST AS the Phillies once made a play for CC Sabathia and ended up with Joe Blanton one summer, and zeroed in on Roy Halladay before trading for Cliff Lee instead the next, major league teams with visions of David Price and Cole Hamels dancing in their heads will likely have to settle for a more gettable starting pitcher before next week's trade deadline.

A.J. Burnett fits the description of that kind of very available and very useful starting pitcher.

Burnett, 37, has postseason experience - he beat the Phillies in a World Series game 5 years ago. He has a somewhat manageable, short-term contract.

And Burnett is durable, too. He's made 30 or more starts for six straight seasons, and is well on his way this season, after No. 22 last night against the Giants.

Burnett, who has been pitching with a hernia since April, showed just how durable he was in what could have very well been his last audition before the trade deadline. He threw a season-high 131 pitches in eight shutout innings, including coming back after a 59-minute rain delay.

It was the most pitches Burnett had thrown in a game in 12 years; he was one pitch shy of matching his career high, set on July 27, 2002.

Burnett was brilliant in matching zeros with Giants All-Star Madison Bumgarner.

"Burnett was outstanding," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.

Jonathan Papelbon, however, was not.

Papelbon served up a blooping, bases-clearing double to Hunter Pence in the ninth inning, which snapped a scoreless tie and guided the Giants to a 3-1 victory at Citizens Bank Park.

It was the second straight night Papelbon blew a game in the ninth. On Tuesday night, he served up a game-tying home run to Buster Posey in a game San Francisco ended up winning, 9-6, in 14 innings.

The last-place Phillies (43-58) have lost five of six games to open the season's second half. They are a season-high 15 games under .500.

Papelbon, who also could be had before next Thursday's deadline, entered the week having been scored upon only once in his previous 21 appearances. But after giving up four runs in the last 2o nights, he's not helping himself find a new home with a contending team in the coming week.

"I think if you were to put an entire season into two games, that'd be pretty dumb," Papelbon said. "To me, it makes no difference. Whatever happens, happens. What are you going to do? I don't worry about it. I go out there every day and try to prepare my best. And let the hits land where they land and let the umpires calls what they're going to call."

Papelbon - and Sandberg, and catcher Carlos Ruiz and everyone else on the Philies bench - took umbrage with home plate umpire Vic Carapazza's call on a 2-2 pitch in the Pence at-bat. But Papelbon also had plenty of pitches to execute before that point, and largely failed to do so.

Papelbon plunked the first hitter he faced, Michael Morse. After recording back-to-back strikeouts, he walked Brandon Crawford intentionally before walking pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez unintentionally to load the bases.

Pence followed by dumping a double to right, clearing the bases.

"A missed 2-2 pitch and a bloop hit," Papelbon said. "There ain't much I could really do."

The Phillies scored a single run in the ninth to avoid being shut out for the 12th time this season. The Giants can wrap up a four-game sweep in South Philly this afternoon.

Ruiz returns

Carlos Ruiz' stay on the 7-day disabled list for concussion symptoms ended up lasting a month. But the catcher returned to active duty yesterday.

"He's feeling good and he's ready to go," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, who put Ruiz into the starting lineup. "It will be nice to have his presence back there behind the plate as a veteran guy. Obviously he knows the pitchers. It should make a difference."

Ruiz returned to the lineup hitting .257 with a .719 OPS and two home runs in 66 games this season. He doubled in the second inning and singled in the eighth last night.

Ruiz had a double and two RBI in five games on a rehab assignment at Class A Clearwater in the last week.

Ruiz, 35, is in the first year of a 3-year, $26 million deal. He had been sidelined since June 26, when he took a pitch from Miami's A.J. Ramos just below the left ear.

To make room for Ruiz, Cameron Rupp was optioned to Triple A Lehigh Valley.


Righthander Jeff Manship was designated for assignment. Manship, a non-roster invitee this spring, won a job in the bullpen out of camp but was 1-2 with a 6.65 ERA in 20 games this season. Fellow righthander Phillippe Aumont was recalled from Triple A Lehigh Valley to take Manship's place in the 'pen. Aumont was 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 29 games with the IronPigs . . . When A.J. Burnett recorded his first strikeout last night, punching out Tyler Colvin to end the second inning, it was his 2,294th career strikeout, moving him past Dwight Gooden and into 48th place on the all-time strikeout list. He finished the night with six strikeouts. Next up: Juan Marichal (2,303 career strikeouts). Among active players, Burnett trails only one player: CC Sabathia (2,437) . . . Grady Sizemore, who flew out to left as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, is one hit shy of recording his 1,000th career hit.

On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21


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