Ruiz's two-run double lifts Phillies over Braves
Philadelphia Phillies' Carlos Ruiz after Ruiz tried for a double in the
fifth inning of a baseball game, Friday, Aug. 28, 2009, in Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA — Joe Blanton got just enough run support for a change.
Ruiz hit a two-run, go-ahead double in the seventh inning and Joe Blanton pitched seven strong innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday night.
"I was missing on the plate," he said. "You just keep plugging away and sometimes you find it, sometimes you don't. It just happened to click in today."
Blanton (9-6) allowed one run on three hits in seven innings, making it 12 straight starts he has allowed three earned runs or less.
"Anytime in our starting rotation when we get our pitchers very consistent that makes our club much better and he's definitely been that," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's been very consistent for a long time now."
Due to a lack of run support, though, the right-hander was just 4-3 in his previous 11 appearances. It looked like more of the same Sunday night until the seventh inning when Ruiz broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run double to left.
The ball glanced off the end of the glove of Braves left fielder Garret Anderson before caroming to the wall, scoring Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz. Ruiz finished 3 for 3 with two doubles for the NL-East leading Phillies.
"That seventh got crazy," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "We were playing Ruiz the other way. We almost made the catch."
Atlanta got a run back in the eighth on Chipper Jones' RBI single, but Scott Eyre came on in relief of Ryan Madson and got out of a two-on, no-out jam. Brian McCann grounded into a double play and Anderson grounded out to second.
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins made a smart decision on the double play, taking the relay from second baseman Chase Utley and throwing to third to force out Martin Prado. It was a stellar defensive night for Rollins, who opened the game with a diving catch off Matt Diaz's liner and made a strong play later in the frame on a liner up the middle by Yunel Escobar.
"Jimmy knows how to play the game. He's alert and he knew exactly where the runner was at," Manuel said of the double play. "He made a couple of other really good plays."
Jair Jurrjens (10-9) made it 21 of 28 starts in which he's allowing two earned runs or less. But the Braves couldn't muster enough offense for the right-hander, who has seen that trend repeat itself this season. Jurrjens pitched seven innings, allowing three runs — two earned — on seven hits while striking out two and walking two.
"He pitched a great game in this ballpark once again," Cox said of Jurrjens, who entered Sunday 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA in three career starts at Citizens Bank Park. "He's turned into an ace."
Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless ninth for his 27th save.
Prior to the seventh, homers by the Braves' Prado, in the first, and the Phillies' Utley, in the fourth, accounted for the scoring.
NOTES: Philadelphia's Matt Stairs struck out pinch-hitting in the seventh, making him 0 for his last 27 at-bats. ... Braves RHP Tim Hudson is set to make his first start of the season Monday at Florida. Hudson had Tommy John surgery last Aug. 8.