Friday night the Philadelphia Phillies opened a three game set in San Fransisco with the hopes of edging the Giants in a series for the second time in a week. The Phils were riding high after their first four games in the road trip saw a split with the leagues best Arizona Diamondbacks, and although MVP front runner Chase Utley and the surprising play of Pat Burrell had cooled off, Jimmy Rollins would be back in the starting lineup for the first time in a month.
In Friday's game, the Phils sent their young ace Cole Hamels to the mound looking to increase his record to 4-3 on the year against the Giants Pat Misch. After the first six innings it appeared that this series would play out like the previous weekends in which every game came down to the last inning, including two extra inning games. Unfortunately for the Giants though the Phils managed to score three runs in the eighth giving the Phils a 7-4 lead and the win to start off the series, Hamels took the win and in his first game back, J-Roll hit a two run shot over the left field wall for his third dinger of the year.
Saturday's game however wasn't so bright for the Phils, as they faced Tim Lincecum the young right hander who went into the game with a 4-1 record. The Phils managed to score first in the second inning with a lead off home run by Ryan Howard, but Lincecum and the Giants offense would prove to be too much for the Phils. Jamie Moyer had another poor outing and gave up 6 earned runs in 4 innings and the Giants took the second game of the series by a score of 8-2.
Sunday's rubber match to determine the series winner would feature Adam Eaton on the mound for the Phils against the Giants Jonathan Sanchez, another young pitcher in the organization. Eaton who had been steady throughout the first month of the season had struggled in his last few outings and needed to get back on track to help the Phils in their winning ways. Eaton pitched well enough to win again on Sunday, giving up only 2 runs, but only going 5 innings after getting into trouble in the sixth. JC Romero however gave up 2 when the Phils had a 3-2 lead in the seventh and the Phils dropped the third game and the series to the Giants.
The Phils head home on Tuesday for a series against the Atlanta. They look to put behind them a losing road trip in which Chase Utley went 4 for 24 with 4 walks and Pat Burrell went 2 for 18 with six walks.
As long as Howard continues to struggle, Utley and Burrell will have to get back on track to keep up with the surging Florida Marlins who took a 3 game lead in the division as the Phils dropped to 2nd place, tie with the Mets.