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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Francisco Treat Lifts Phils to 2-1 Series Lead

          Ben Francisco, the all but forgotten man who came to Philadelphia in the trade that originally brought Cliff Lee to the Phillies, did what the ace pitcher couldn’t do. He delivered a win in Wild Card Series against the Cardinals with a 3-run pinch-hit home run, giving the Phillies a 2-1 series lead.

          Francisco’s appearance ended Cole Hamels’ night. He labored in the early innings, but managed to keep the Cardinals from crossing home plate through 6 innings. Vance Worley, Antonio Bastardo, and Brad Lidge, struggled through the next 1 1/3 innings, somehow giving up just one run.

          Ryan Madson relieved Lidge, who gave up two hits without recording an out with the bases loaded to try to record a 5-out save. Madson was helped tremendously on his second pitch by Chase Utley, who fielded a grounder close to the normal second baseman fielding position and still tagged the bag himself and threw to first for the double-play.

          Madson eventually worked through the 9th ininng despite giving up a leadoff double to Albert Pujols, who scored with just one out to make the score 3-2. Madson retired Ryan Theriot – the only pitcher to get the shortstop out all night – to finally seal the win.

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