Gregor Blanco and Martin Prado weren’t supposed to be in the Braves’ lineup. Due to injuries, they were given an opportunity to start and they did not disappoint. They went a combined 7-for-10 with four runs batted in, a walk, and three runs scored.
Prado and Blanco’s performances were the opposite of Jimmy Rollins’, who received his first start in four days. As usual, Rollins provided Gold Glove defense. But Braves fans chanted Rollins’ average, and each time he stepped to the plate, the number chanted became lower and lower. Rollins finished the night 0-for-5.
The Phillies opened the scoring in the third inning on Ryan Howard’s ground-rule double. The bounce over the fence proved to cost the Phillies. If it stayed in the yard, Chase Utley would have scored easily. Instead, he was forced to stop at third.
Utley homered to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead, but Prado responded with a solo home run of his own to tie it up. The Braves took a 3-2 lead on a ground-out in the fifth inning.
Joe Blanton pitched five innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and three walks. He struck out three. Derek Lowe was a little better. In seven innings, he gave up two runs on seven hits and three walks.
With two outs in the eighth inning, John Mayberry Jr. was called to pinch hit and answered with a game tying home run. If that wasn’t exciting enough, Pedro Feliz followed with a long home run, giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth with two outs and a runner on first, Ryan Madson attempted a pick-off throw, only for it to hit the runner and scoot toward the Braves dugout. The runner advanced, then scored on Prado’s double down the line, making it a 4-4 game. If it didn’t hit the runner, Howard would have held the runner on and the Phillies could have seen their way out of the inning.
In the bottom of the tenth, Prado haunted the Phillies once again. With two on and one out, Prado hit a line drive over the head of Mayberry. Game over. Braves win, 5-4.