Keep the foot on the gas. Win some more.
Those are the words being expressed from the Phillies. And why not? The team is 41 games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 26, 1976. The Phillies’ 6-4 win over the Reds on Thursday afternoon gave them their first four-game sweep in Cincinnati since May 13-16, 1916. The Phils improved to a major-league best record of 87-46.
“We need to keep our foot on the gas and not let up,” Ryan Howard said.
“We can win some more. We definitely want to win the division and have the best record,” skipper Charlie Manuel said.
Vance Worley continued an impressive stretch and might get some NL Rookie of the Year votes. The rookie right-hander allowed four runs on eight hits and stuck out seven in six-plus innings. Worley (10-1, 2.85 ERA) ran into a jam in the seventh, when he allowed a three-run homer.
“We got close with a big home run by [Chris] Heisey,” Reds skipper Dusty Baker said.
Heisey, just off the 15-day DL, struck the score to a two-run game, but it wasn’t enough. Brad Lidge and Antonio Bastardo shut down the Reds in the seventh and eighth, before Ryan Madson worked a scoreless ninth for his 26th save.
The big blow for the Phillies came from Michael Martinez, who went deep in the seventh. His two-run shot scored Wilson Valdez and put the Phils up, 6-1. Ryan Howard hit a solo shot in the sixth for his 30th home run. The first baseman has at least 30 dingers and 100 RBIs in six straight seasons.