Phillies vs. Nationals
The first place Phillies exploded for six first inning runs, and Roy Oswalt tossed six solid innings as the Phils defeated the Nationals 9-1 in Philly.
After a Ryan Zimmerman RBI single put Washington ahead in the top of the first, the Phillies went to work against Nationals starter Jason Marquis. Marquis (2-9) retired the first batter of the inning, but then allowed the next eight batters to reach base before being knocked out of the game. Jayson Werth tied the game with an RBI infield single, and Raul Ibanez followed with a two run single. Oswalt contributed to the offensive outburst with an RBI single of his own as the Phils jumped out to a 6-1 lead.
Oswalt (13-13) allowed just one run and six hits over his six innings, striking out seven along the way. Werth and Carlos Ruiz homered off of the Nationals bullpen to cap the scoring for the Phils. Zimmerman finished with a 4 for 4 night at the plate in a losing cause for the Nats.
Braves vs. Mets
The Braves overcame an early three run deficit and the ejection of their manager, defeating the Mets by a score of 6-4 at Citi Field to keep pace with the Phillies in the NL East.
In the bottom of the second inning, Bobby Cox was ejected for the 158th time (a major league record) for arguing balls and strikes. The Mets went on to score three runs in the inning against Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson, thanks to RBI singles from Lucas Duda, pitcher Jonathon Niese, and Jose Reyes. The Braves bounced back in the fourth inning, captilizing on a David Wright throwing error to score six unearned runs off of Niese (9-9). Melky Cabrera hit an RBI single to start the scoring, and Omar Infante delivered a two run double to tie the game. Jason Heyward then delivered the big blow, launching a three run homer to right field to give the Braves a 6-3 lead.
Duda hit his first major league home run off of Hanson in the bottom of the fourth inning, but that would be the last run of the night for either team. Hanson (10-11) went six innings to earn the victory, and Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 34th save.
Marlins vs. Cubs
The Marlins and Cubs each received solid pitching on Friday night in Florida. Chicago was the only team to score in the pitchers’ duel, defeating the Marlins by a score of 2-0.
Ryan Dempster (14-10) pitched seven shutout innings against his former team, allowing just four hits while striking out five. Florida starter Alex Sanabia (4-3) pitched well, but couldn’t keep the Cubs off of the scoreboard. Alfonso Soriano hit an RBI double in the second inning, and Geovany Soto doubled home a run in the sixth inning to deliver the only two runs of the evening.
The Marlins had a chance in the ninth as Cubs closer Carlos Marmol walked the first two batters of the inning. However, Marmol rebounded to retire the next three batters and earn save number 32.