Behind the power of Ryan Howard and the long relief of Kyle Kendrick, the Phils defeated the Braves tonight by a final score of 9-4. Ryan accounted for the Phils' first three runs, hitting a 2-run home run in the 4th (his 39th) and a solo home run in the 6th (his 40th). Kendrick pitched four innings of scoreless relief to earn the win after starter J.A. Happ was forced from the game for precautionary reasons. (J.A. grimaced coming off the mound in the 3rd inning, which was enough for Charlie Manuel to yank him from the game.)
Jayson Werth added a clutch 2-run single in the 8th inning to provide a little cushion for the back end of the bullpen. Jimmy Rollins (3-run home run) and Ben Francisco (solo shot) padded the cushion even more with back-to-back home runs in the top of the 9th inning.
With the win, coupled with the Braves' defeat, the magic number to clinch the NL East is now in single digits at 8.
Paging Paul Hoover: Carlos Ruiz left the game in the 6th inning with what the team is describing as a sprained left wrist. Look for the Phils to add another catcher to the active roster tomorrow if Chooch's injury is serious.