Altherr’s hitting, Morgan’s pitching lead Phillies past Blue Jays 7-4

PHILADELPHIA — With veteran Chase Utley the latest former star headed out of Philadelphia as the team rebuilds, it was a couple of rookies who lifted the Phillies to a victory Wednesday night.

PHILADELPHIA — With veteran Chase Utley the latest former star headed out of Philadelphia as the team rebuilds, it was a couple of rookies who lifted the Phillies to a victory Wednesday night.

Aaron Altherr homered, doubled and drove in three runs and fellow rookie Adam Morgan pitched seven strong innings and Philadelphia beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-4.

Jeff Francoeur and Andres Blanco also homered for Philadelphia, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

“It was awesome” Altherr said. “It was good to be out there and get that first hit out of the way. I hope I can just keep producing up here and helping the team win.”

Utley did a lot of winning with the Phillies, but didn’t contribute Wednesday even though he was in uniform and in the dugout. After the game the deal was made official with the six-time All-Star second baseman going to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Triple-A outfielder Darnell Sweeney and Single-A right-hander John Richy.

Utley, who has a history of knee injuries, recently returned from the disabled list after missing more than a month because of right ankle inflammation.

Utley has a hit in eight straight games while batting .484 since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 7. He received a standing ovation after celebrating on the field after the game and doffed his hat in appreciation.

Asked why Utley didn’t play, interim manager Pete Mackanin said, “Under the circumstances I didn’t want anything crazy to happen.”

After trading Cole Hamels at the July deadline and Jimmy Rollins last off-season, only Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz remain from Philadelphia’s 2008 championship team.

Edwin Encarnacion homered for the wild-card leading Blue Jays, who fell two games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East. Toronto lost for just the fourth time in its last 20 games.

“It’s a logjam right now,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “We’ve got to get back in it. Somebody else could, also. It’s good baseball.”

Mark Buehrle (13-6) had his shortest outing of the season, giving up four runs and seven hits in four innings. Since May 29, Buehrle hadn’t allowed more than three earned runs in his last 13 starts while going at least seven innings in 11 of those games.

Buehrle, though, felt he pitched well.

“I wish I could have a lot of these nights,” he said. “My location was good. I thought my stuff was better than my last four outings. Just bad luck. I had a bad start, but I was making my pitches.”

Morgan (4-4) surrendered two runs and five hits while striking out three without a walk in seven innings.

“I really didn’t try to do anything special, just stick to my strengths and move the ball in and out, front and back,” Morgan said. “They made some great plays behind me in the outfield, and timely. Overall it was a great team win.”

Ken Giles pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save in 11 chances.

Encarnacion extended his hitting streak to 16 straight games with a homer leading off the fifth. It gave the Blue Jays at least one home run in 11 straight road games while bringing them within 4-1. Cliff Pennington’s RBI double in the inning made it 4-2.

The Phillies scored three runs in the fifth off Bo Schultz. Blanco led off with a drive over the wall in right, and Altherr hit a two-run shot to left to put Philadelphia in front 7-2.

The Blue Jays got two runs back in the eighth without a hit. They were helped by two walks from Luis Garcia and second baseman Cesar Hernandez’s error.

The Phillies jumped on Buehrle for three runs in the first on Francoeur’s sacrifice fly, Darin Ruf’s RBI single and a run-scoring double by Altherr. It was the first career hit for the 24-year-old Altherr, a 2009 ninth-round draft pick who was called up to fill the roster spot of Maikel Franco after the rookie third baseman was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday with a fractured left wrist.

Philadelphia won for just the second time in the last 12 games against Toronto.

TAKE IT TO THE BANK

Francoeur gave Philadelphia a 4-0 lead with a two-out homer in the third, the fifth in his last nine games at Citizens Bank Park.

SLUMPING JAY

Blue Jays OF Kevin Pillar is 8 for his last 56 (.143) after going 0 for 4.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: After Thursday’s day off, Toronto plays the first of three at the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night with LHP David Price (11-4, 2.41) facing LHP Hector Santiago (7-6, 2.86).

Phillies: Philadelphia opens a four-game series at Miami on Thursday night with RHP Jerome Williams (4-8, 5.47) opposing LHP Brad Hand (2-3, 4.74).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Mustard Seed to launch new wellness centre in Red Deer

A new service is coming to Red Deer to help the city’s… Continue reading

Penhold firefighters handle ‘difficult’ blaze

Penhold firefighters battled a “difficult” blaze Friday afternoon. Fire crews were called… Continue reading

Clearwater County firefighter recruitment campaign deemed a success

A firefighter recruitment campaign is being considered a success by Clearwater County.… Continue reading

Dems say oust Trump or he’ll betray again; ‘He is who he is’

WASHINGTON — Closing out their case, House Democrats warned Friday in Donald… Continue reading

Senators may have to rein in activism in minority Parliament: new govt rep

OTTAWA — Independent senators may have to curb their enthusiasm for amending… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

St. John’s, N.L., lifts state of emergency eight days after massive storm

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The City of St. John’s has lifted a… Continue reading

Former cabinet minister Peter MacKay announces Tory leadership bid

STELLARTON, N.S. — Former federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay says he will… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $17 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $17 million jackpot… Continue reading

French doctor: Virus from China seems less serious than SARS

PARIS — The lead doctor treating two Paris hospital patients for the… Continue reading

Trump lawyer says Dems want to ‘overturn’ last election

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s lawyers opened their impeachment trial defence Saturday… Continue reading

Democratic candidates pour into Iowa for last-minute push

DES MOINES, Iowa — Freed momentarily from the Senate’s impeachment trial, several… Continue reading

Europe’s bishops mark Auschwitz anniversary denouncing hate

WARSAW, Poland — Europe’s Catholic bishops are marking the 75th anniversary of… Continue reading

Most Read