Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Roy Halladay threw eight innings of two- run ball, and the Phillies’ offense produced home runs from Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez to down the Rangers, 3-2, in the opener of this interleague set.
The Phillies failed to score more than three runs for the seventh straight game, but nonetheless earned their second win over that span thanks in large part to their ace.
Halladay (6-3) scattered six hits and a walk while fanning seven before Ryan Madson closed out the victory in the ninth.
“It’s been a tough stretch,” Halladay said. “It was definitely a grind, but we did enough.”
C.J. Wilson (4-3) struck out 10 in his seven-inning start, taking the loss with three runs allowed on four hits and two walks.
Texas, coming off an extra-inning loss at Kansas City on Thursday, quickly took an early lead. Elvis Andrus opened the game with a single, raced to third on Mitch Moreland’s base hit through the right side, then executed a double steal, sliding in at home in front of Wilson Valdez’s throw from second.
Wilson set down the first five batters he faced — four via strikeout — before walking Ibanez on four pitches. He again fell behind to Francisco and served up a 3-1 changeup that was redirected into the seats in left-center.
Ibanez also went deep against Wilson in the fourth, becoming the first left- handed hitter to homer against the southpaw since Cleveland’s Shin-Soo Choo did so on June 3, 2008.
“[Wilson] made two pitches I know he’d like to take back,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “[The] changeup to Francisco got him right there after the walk to Ibanez, and the first-pitch fastball Ibanez got, he hit to the biggest part of the park. He earned that one.”
Halladay kept the Rangers quiet until Endy Chavez led off the eighth with a pinch-hit double down the right-field line, and consecutive groundouts, the latter from Moreland, cut the deficit 3-2.
With 116 pitches thrown, Halladay gave way to Madson in the ninth. The set-up man turned closer got two quick outs before David Murphy hit a comebacker that went off Madson’s throwing hand.
Murphy tried getting into scoring position with Taylor Teagarden at the plate, but Carlos Ruiz threw him out to seal the win and Madson’s eighth save.
On Saturday, the second game of this three-game series, Cliff Lee will pitch against the team he helped get to the 2010 World Series. The left-hander signed with the Phillies in the offseason and will face Colby Lewis…Before the game the Phillies placed center fielder Shane Victorino on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. Outfielder Domonic Brown was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill the roster spot…Halladay came in with a 5.36 career earned-run average vs. Texas…Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard went 0-for-3 and is 0-for-23 over his last seven games…The Rangers last visited Citizens Bank Park in 2008 and lost all three games.