Halladay, Phillies get best of Braves
PHILADELPHIA — Roy Halladay pitched his major league-best seventh complete game this season, Greg Dobbs hit a two-run homer, and the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves, 3-1, last night.
Halladay (10-7) allowed five hits and struck out seven to record his second straight complete game. The All-Star righthander outdueled Derek Lowe (9-7) and needed just 93 pitches to finish.
“He pitched a super game,’’ Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Halladay. “He’s a horse.’’
Chipper Jones homered for the NL East-leading Braves.
The two-time NL champion Phillies, who lost three of four to lowly Pittsburgh in their last series, need to win this three-game set to avoid losing more ground in the division. They’re 17-23 in their last 40 games and trail Atlanta by four games.
Lowe allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out six. The sinkerballer gave up only two fly outs.
Lowe was cruising until Jayson Werth hit a one-out single in the sixth. Dobbs hit the next pitch into the seats in right-center for his second homer and a 2-1 lead.
Juan Castro, who came in as a defensive replacement for Dobbs at third base in the eighth, gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead with a two-out RBI single. Castro delivered after missing a suicide squeeze and Raul Ibanez was tagged out.
Jones gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the first when he hit the first pitch he saw from Halladay into the seats in left-center for just his sixth homer.
Halladay hasn’t received much run support from a previously high-powered offense that’s been inconsistent this season. The Phillies have scored a total of 12 runs in Halladay’s seven losses.
Acquired from Toronto in the offseason, the former AL Cy Young Award winner has lived up to enormous expectations. He has a 2.33 ERA and easily could have 14 or 15 wins if Philadelphia’s offense was better. The Phillies reached the midpoint of the season at 43-38 — same as last year. But they had a two-game lead in the division at this point in 2009.