Cloyd, Phillies knocked around by Red Sox, 9-3
BOSTON - Freddy Galvis worked himself into a hitter's count, eyed up a fastball and probably hit the pitch as well as he has hit any pitch in a half-dozen years in professional baseball.
It was the kind of swing the Phillies needed to create a different kind of swing in a lopsided game at Fenway Park. The Phils entered the sixth inning trailing by the equivalent of a touchdown (plus the extra point) to the revamped Red Sox.
But they loaded the bases for their eight-hole hitter and he tried to do his best impression of the guy he was replacing. Galvis smoked a rising line drive to right-center with a disabled Chase Utley watching from the visitors' dugout.
If the ball finds a friendly landing spot in the 101-year-old ballpark, perhaps it sends a charge into that dugout, along with a crooked number on that hand-operated scoreboard.
If you stuck with the hard-to-watch game in the final hours of your Memorial Day weekend, you know that didn't happen. Jacoby Ellsbury ran the ball down and robbed Galvis of extra bases. The Phillies failed to score in the inning.
And so the Phillies watched a rerun from their most recent trip to Fenway: Their starting pitcher got clubbed.
Rookie Tyler Cloyd served up home runs to two of the first five batters he faced and was gone from the game before the end of the third inning as the Red Sox stormed to an 9-3 victory last night.
The Phillies entered the holiday weekend one win shy of reaching the .500 mark and instead have lost three of four.
Cloyd, making his third start since replacing the injured Roy Halladay in the rotation, allowed 10 of the 17 batters he faced to reach base. Five of the nine hits he allowed in 2 1/3 innings went for extra bases.
Cloyd put the Phillies in a 6-1 hole after three innings. Armed with a Moyer-like fastball, Cloyd was destined for trouble against a veteran Red Sox lineup in a hitter's haven.
Getting by more often on guile than sheer stuff, Cloyd likely isn't long for a rotation with another rookie already in the starting five. But he put the Phils in a tough spot nonetheless.
With an offense that scored two runs or fewer in 20 of its first 50 games, the deficit felt much larger in the 51st game of the season.
When Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli homered in the first inning, and when David Ortiz and Napoli hit back-to-back doubles in the third, the game felt like a flashback from June 2010.
During the last Phils' trip to Fenway 3 years ago, Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton were both battered by Boston bats: They allowed 18 runs on 22 hits in back-to-back games won by the Red Sox by a combined score of 22-4.
In 2010, the trip to Boston was a small pothole in a season that saw the Phils win a major league-best 97 games. In 2013, it looked a lot like the roads the team had traveled to get to this point and may have to continue riding with the current roster.
With Utley sidelined, Charlie Manuel auditioned a new three-hole hitter, moving Jimmy Rollins into the spot. The longest-tenured Phillie responded, going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.
Back in the lineup after sitting out Sunday with an ongoing left knee injury, Ryan Howard also had two hits. The two Young bats that book-ended Rollins and Howard continued to struggle.
Michael Young, who was moved up from the three-hole to the second spot in the lineup, was hitless in four at-bats. He is in an 0-for-22 funk and his batting average has plummeted from .310 to .260 since May 12.
Delmon Young, hitting fifth, had a single in four trips to the plate. He's hitting .213 with seven extra-base hits in 23 games since being activated from the DL a month ago.
Despite the Youngs' latest less-than-stellar nights, the Phils should have also been set up for success. Boston scratched its scheduled starter, Clay Buchholz, with shoulder soreness a day earlier. Buchholz is 7-0 with an American League-leading 1.73 ERA.
His replacement, Alfredo Aceves, had an 8.10 ERA in his three previous starts this season before taking the ball last night. Aceves held the Phils to one run, a solo homer by Erik Kratz, in six innings.
One of the only bright spots in a dim first 2 months of the season arrived after Aceves had exited and when the game was already out of reach. Domonic Brown ripped his 10th home run off Boston lefthander Andrew Miller in the eighth inning.
Brown is batting .280 with seven home runs in 24 games this month. Only three major leaguers have hit more homers in May: Miguel Cabrera (10), Carlos Gonzalez (8) and Mike Trout (8).