Howard Goes Deep Twice As Phillies Win
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Charlie Manuel didn’t get to see Ryan Howard’s long home run because he was ejected in the first inning. The Phillies manager did hear it though.
``It sounded loud,″ Manuel said.
Howard homered twice and Brett Myers pitched six solid innings to help Philadelphia get a much-needed victory at home, 4-2 over the Florida Marlins on Sunday.
The Phillies improved to 3-8 at Citizens Bank Park and begin a four-game set with Colorado on Monday.
Howard led off the second inning with a towering home run to center field. The 496-foot shot, which cleared the brick batter’s eye, was the longest homer in the short history of Citizens Bank Park, which opened in 2004.
Howard’s drive was the first to reach Ashburn Alley _ the popular area filled with Walk of Fame monuments and concession stands.
And it was what everyone was still talking about long after it landed.
``It was a long one that’s for sure,″ Florida second baseman Dan Uggla said. ``When a guy hits one 496 feet, you’ve got to tip your hat to him.″
Myers added, ``That’s the farthest one I’ve seen hit him, no doubt about it.″
Myers (2-0) scattered six hits, struck out five and walked three. Phillies starters are 5-0 when pitching six or more innings.
Ryan Franklin and Arthur Rhodes each pitched a scoreless inning and Tom Gordon struck out the side in the ninth for his fifth save in five opportunities.
Miguel Olivo homered and drove in two runs for Florida, which lost for the fifth time in seven games.
The afternoon started with plenty of fireworks of the unconventional kind.
With Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins on third and two outs in the first, Chase Utley hit a hard grounder up the middle. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez made a diving stop and throw to rob Utley of a hit on a close play at first base. Replays showed that Utley beat the throw by a half-stride.
The normally reserved Utley tossed his helmet wildly in foul territory after first base umpire Dan Iassogna’s call and was ejected. Manuel also was thrown out of the game.
``When you bust it down the line and don’t get the hit, it’s depressing,″ Utley said.
Asked if he had seen the replay that showed he was safe, Utley added, ``I didn’t need to see it.″
The incident may have perked up the Phillies, especially Howard and Myers.
``It has to fire you up, even if it’s a little bit,″ Howard said. ``When something like that happens, it tends to get everyone going.″
Howard, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, homered in consecutive innings off Sergio Mitre (1-2). The two drives went a combined 860 feet.
His two-run shot to left field in the third made it 4-0. It was Howard’s fifth homer of the season.
In his next at-bat, with Bobby Abreu on second, Mitre intentionally walked Howard, who finished with three RBIs. He has three homers and six RBIs in his last five games.
After escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first, Myers settled down. He set down the side in each of the next three innings before Olivo’s solo homer in the fifth.
Myers gave up two more hits in the fifth, but struck out Miguel Cabrera to end the threat.
``The first couple of innings, my fastball was up and I wasn’t feeling good,″ said Myers, who hadn’t pitched in seven days. ``I started to feel better as the game went along.″
David Bell, who entered the game after Utley’s ejection, hit a run-scoring single in the third inning.
Olivo’s RBI single in sixth cut the deficit to 4-2.
Mitre gave up four runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked four.
``He had good stuff, but Howard beat him,″ Marlins manager Joe Girardi said.
Notes: It was Howard’s first multihomer game of his career. ... The Phillies stole four bases, including a pair by Rollins. ... It was Utley’s first ejection of his career and Manuel’s first of the season. Manuel was ejected five times in his first season with the Phillies last year. ... Marlins RF Matt Cepicky made a nifty diving catch to rob Myers of a hit in the fourth inning. ... The Marlins left six runners in scoring position, including three at third base.