PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Raul Ibanez hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh, Vance Worley pitched seven strong innings and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Boston Red Sox 2-1 on Wednesday night.
In a series billed as a World Series preview, the major league-leading Phillies (51-30) have taken two straight and go for a sweep Thursday.
Worley (3-1) allowed one run, five hits and struck out five. The rookie right-hander has filled in nicely for injured starters Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton.
Michael Stutes pitched a perfect eighth and Antonio Bastardo finished for his third save and first filling in for Ryan Madson. The Phillies are down to their fourth closer with Madson, Jose Contreras and Brad Lidge on the disabled list.
Ibanez was 3 for 3 with two RBIs, falling a triple short of the cycle. He came in 5 for 44.
John Lackey (5-7) gave up two runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings in one of his best starts this season. He lowered his ERA from 7.36 to 6.81.
The Red Sox have lost six of seven since going 14-2.
Desperate to wake up a slumping offense, Boston manager Terry Francona gave Adrian Gonzalez his second career start in right field so David Ortiz could play first base. Ortiz hadn’t started the previous four games because there is no designated hitter in NL parks.
Francona spoke to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jonny Miller after the game:
It didn’t work. Big Papi was 0 for 4.
Gonzalez didn’t have any putouts in his first game in right since 2005. He went back to the wall and leaped for a ball hit by Chase Utley in the eighth, but it bounced high off the railing and went for a triple.
Ibanez put the Phillies up 2-1 when he led off the bottom of the seventh with a drive to the seats in right. It was his first homer since May 30, and snapped a streak of 90 at-bats without one.
The Red Sox tied it at 1 in the fifth on Lackey’s fourth career hit. Josh Reddick singled with one out and scored on Lackey’s two-out double. Lackey was 3 for 36 with one double and one RBI in his career before hitting a 3-2 pitch to deep left-center.
Ibanez gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the second with an RBI single. Shane Victorino led off the inning with a double down the left-field line. He scored when Ibanez hit a hard liner to left-center.
Notes: Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz said he’s unlikely to pitch before the All-Star break. Buchholz has been sidelined by a lower back strain. … Lidge threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session and could be ready for a rehab assignment next week. Lidge has been out all season with shoulder and elbow problems. … Bernard Hopkins, the oldest boxer to win a major world championship, talked to the Phillies before the game. … A crowd of 45,612 was the 181st straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park, including postseason play.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)