Moyer pitches Phils over D'backs

July 28, 2009 2:47:56 AM PDT
Jamie Moyer pitched 6 2-3 shutout innings, Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 on Monday night.

Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, Pedro Feliz and Paul Bako each drove in a run as the Phillies stretched their lead in the NL East to a season-high seven games over Atlanta and Florida, which were idle. The defending world champions improved to a majors-best 30-15 on the road.

Baffling the weak-hitting Diamondbacks with a mix of 80 mph fastballs and even softer changeups, the 46-year-old Moyer (10-7) worked out of jams in each of the first three innings.

With two on and two out in the first, Moyer retired hot-hitting Miguel Montero on a grounder to first base.

After the Diamondbacks loaded the bases with three singles to open the second, Moyer struck out Jon Garland (5-10) and got Stephen Drew to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.

In the third inning, Ryan Roberts led off with a single and Justin Upton walked, but Moyer retired the next three hitters without allowing a ball out of the infield. That began a stretch in which Moyer set down 14 of 15.

Moyer left with two on and two outs in the seventh, tipping his cap to acknowledge a standing ovation from Phillies fans behind the visiting dugout.

Moyer went 6 2-3 innings, allowing six hits, walking four and striking out five.

Arizona pitchers had been just as stifling lately.

They had thrown shutouts in back-to-back games and entered on a 19-inning scoreless string. It stretched to 22 innings before Howard hammered a 1-1 delivery from Garland an estimated 410 feet into the left-center field seats to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead in the fourth.

It was Howard's 26th homer.

Philadelphia made it 3-0 on a two-out double by Rollins in the fifth.

The Phils added three more runs in the sixth as the Diamondbacks staged one of their patented meltdowns in the field.

After Chase Utley led off with a walk, second baseman Roberts

bobbled Howard's bouncer for an error, and Utley raced all the way to third because no one was covering the bag.

Ibanez singled to make it 4-0. The next two runs scored on fielder's choice grounders by Feliz and Bako - and the Diamondbacks

botched easy double plays both times.

Garland lasted six innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out two.

The Diamondbacks made it 6-1 in the eighth on Mark Reynolds' 27th homer, second in the majors behind Albert Pujols, who has 34. Chad Tracy added an RBI single for the Diamondbacks.

NOTES: Arizona C Chris Snyder, returning from a lower back strain, was to make his final rehab appearance at Triple-A Reno on Monday night. He could rejoin the Diamondbacks before the Phillies series ends Wednesday. ... The Phillies didn't commit an error. Their 40 errors are the fewest in the NL and second-fewest in the majors. ... Arizona manager A.J. Hinch, then a catcher with Oakland, homered against Moyer on April 11, 1999, when the lefty pitched for Seattle.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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