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Roy Halladay was back Sunday, dominating the Padres in the Phillies 3-1 win (Courtesy AP)
All across the Delaware Valley on this Easter Sunday, little Phillies fans could be seen furiously hunting colored eggs filled with all sorts of candy and other treats. But they could have saved a lot of time by tuning their TV sets to the game at Petco Park in San Diego, and found Roy Halladay putting up egg after egg on the scoreboard for near nine dominating innings.
Halladay (3-1) threw another gem Sunday versus the offensively challenged Padres to complete the four game sweep. If you think the Phillies have had a hard time scoring runs lately, they can’t hold a candle to the Pads’, who the Phillies shut out twice while allowing a total of only three runs over the weekend.
Halladay was back to his masterful self after struggling last week against the Milwaukee Brewers. Doc threw 8.2 innings, giving up one earned run on five hits, while striking out a career high-tying fourteen batters, including six in a row spanning the sixth through eighth innings.
After cruising through eight innings, Halladay ran into some trouble in the bottom of the ninth. He allowed three singles in the innings, including a run scoring, two out single to right fielder Will Venable. At 130 pitches, manager Charlie Manuel decided it best to lift Halladay with only one out remaining. Reliever Antonio Bastardo came in and threw one pitch to pinch hitter Nick Hundley, who flied out to right field to end the game.
The Phillies offense, meanwhile, still haven’t scored over four runs in over two weeks, but they haven’t need to lately with the way the pitching has bailed them out. The batters struggled somewhat again Sunday against Padres’ starter Wade Leblanc (0-1), but they provided Halladay all the run support he needed. After a relatively quiet five innings to start the game, the offense came alive in the top of the sixth. After Jimmy Rollins led off the inning with a single, Ryan Howard moved him to third with a single of his own. Ben Francisco followed up with another single, scoring Rollins and moving Howard up to second base. John Mayberry, Jr. drove in Howard with a double deep to left field. In the top of the seventh, Victorino led off the inning with an inside the park home run to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead. Victorino hit the ball to the right center gap, off the glove of a diving Venable. The ball scooted into center to allow Shane to dive head first safely into home plate.
While it’s unfortunate for Halladay to not finish what he started, he’ll surely take the win to complete the four game sweep.
The Phillies will make the short trip to the Chase Field in Phoenix Arizona to face the Diamondbacks for a three game series starting Monday. Barring any rainouts, which is a bit of an oxymoron in Phoenix, the Phils will have played eleven straight games before their next scheduled day off on Thursday.
Notes: Victorino’s inside the park home run was the first since Chase Utley’s at Citizen’s Bank Park during the 2009 season; the Phillies have won 11 straight games at Petco Park; they swept a four game series in San Diego for the first time since 1979; Halladay struck out every regular San Diego starter during the contest