Jun 9, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT
As Corey Seidman wrote on Friday, a little interleague play might be just the thing for the Phillies, and as predicted, it certainly did the trick for Jim Thome.
For the first time this season, Major League Baseball’s eighth member of the 600-home run club made himself useful, notching his first extra-base hits, runs, and RBI for 2012. Heck, his three hits in the 9-6 victory make up 60% of his total for the year. He’ll bat cleanup again today, while Charlie Manuel doubles down on the ancient slugger’s production as a DH.
However, the Phillies’ true good fortune turned out to be the pitching match-up. Joe Blanton finally ran into somebody he could beat, as Jake Arrieta allowed all nine runs over four innings. Now the Phillies are hoping for more of the same from the Orioles’ staff, who recalled Tommy Hunter from the minors for the start.
Hunter (2-3, 5.59) has been one of the most disappointing pieces in Baltimore’s lackluster rotation. Added in a deadline deal with the Texas Rangers last summer, the 25-year-old righty hasn’t been able to stick with the big club, having been demoted twice already this season. They don’t really have anybody better though, so here he goes again.
In the midst of his fourth full season, the former 54th overall pick in the ’07 draft has never faced a batter currently with the Phillies. Sometimes that works to a pitcher’s advantage, especially against the Fightins it seems.
Vance Worley (3-2, 3.38) makes his second start since returning from the DL. He struggled with his command early last time, and seemed frustrated with the umpire — Pap feels you, bro — but settled down, and looked like himself as the game went on. Working on a pitch count, Worley allowed three runs through four, two of them after walking a couple of batters in the first inning.
With Placido Polanco and Freddy Galvis out with injuries, and Carlos Ruiz getting the day off, the Phils lineup this afternoon looks even sadder than normal. The only everyday players from last year’s 102-win team on the card today are Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, and Hunter Pence. Could be a box score to remember.
Today’s lineup @ BAL: Rollins SS, Pierre LF, Pence RF, Thome DH, Victorino CF, Wigginton 3B, Fontenot 2B, Luna 1B, Schneider C. Worley P.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 9, 2012
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