Altherr, Morgan send Phillies past Blue Jays
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies fans who came to Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night were hoping to learn the official fate of Chase Utley.
Jeff Francoeur, Aaron Altherr and Andres Blanco homered, and rookie left-hander Adam Morgan allowed just two runs in seven innings in the Phillies' 7-4 win over the Blue Jays. Shortly after the game, the Phillies announced that they had completed the deal to send Utley to the Dodgers for prospects infielder/outfielder Darnell Sweeney and right-hander John Richy.
"Morgan was outstanding tonight," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "Other than the fifth inning, he kind of mowed them down."
The loss dropped the Blue Jays two games behind the Yankees in the American League East.
"That's twice [Morgan] has pitched against us and we haven't been able to do anything with him," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I thought we had him on the ropes there in the fifth inning and we got that second run so we went for it there and pulled it close. But then we gave up three [runs in the bottom of the inning.]"
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Altherr makes his mark: The Phillies promoted Altherr on Tuesday from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and he quickly showed why they think he could be part of their future. He doubled to score a run in the first inning. It was the first hit, double and RBI of his big league career. He then hit a two-run homer to left field in the fifth inning for his first home run. More >
"It's good to get that first hit out of the way," Altherr said. "I just thank God for this opportunity. Hopefully I can continue to produce up here."
Buehrle goes four: For the second straight night, the Blue Jays did not get much length from their starting pitcher. On Wednesday, starter Mark Buehrle lasted just four innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. One night earlier, R.A. Dickey allowed five runs in four innings, which ended a franchise record stretch of 20 games in which the starter allowed three or fewer earned runs.
"Actually it was one of those nights I wish I could have every night," Buehrle said. "Location-wise and stuff-wise, I felt like I had better today than in my last four outings. That's what makes this game great." More >
Morgan shines against Toronto: Morgan had arguably the best outing of his 10-start career. He allowed five hits, two runs and struck out three in seven innings against one of the best offenses in baseball. It should be a confidence booster for Morgan, who allowed five hits and two runs against the Blue Jays in Toronto on July 28.
"Any team you face is a good team," Morgan said. "So any team I face and do well against is a confidence booster."
Encarnacion stays hot: With a solo home run to lead off the fifth inning, Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 games. The veteran has now reached base in 21 straight games His 23rd home run of the year was also his 181st as a Blue Jay and sits sixth all-time in franchise history.
"I haven't seen the first one yet. Mystery ball. I don't know where it went. I got the home run ball, though." -- Altherr, on if he got the ball from his first-inning double. Teammates are almost certainly holding it as a prank
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Altherr is the first Phillies player to record his first hit, home run, RBI, run, double and walk in the same game since Denny Southern on Sept. 10, 1926, against the Cubs.
Blue Jays: The Blue Jays will get a day off on Thursday before they begin a three-game road series against the Angels on Friday night at 10:05 p.m. ET. Both teams are in the playoff hunt, but this may be a good showcase for a pair of MVP candidates in Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson and Angels center fielder Mike Trout. David Price takes the mound for the Blue Jays.
Phillies: The Phillies open a four-game series Thursday night against the Marlins at Marlins Park at 7:10 p.m. ET. Phillies right-hander Jerome Williams (4-8, 5.47 ERA) pitches the series opener against Marlins left-hander Brad Hand (2-3, 4.74 ERA). Williams is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last three starts, allowing three earned runs over 18 innings against the Dodgers, Padres and Brewers.
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