Phillies Seeking Series Win In Minnesota, Turn To Joe Blanton

It seems like the only way we're going to be able to beat teams is by scoring a lot of runs. It took 9 last night to beat the Twins and they still almost caught up to us. It's a good thing that the bats are working, but at the same time it's a bad thing that the pitchers aren't. Cole Hamels gave up six earned runs last night, a season-high. Tonight, Joe Blanton (5-6, 5.40 ERA) will take the mound in Minnesota to give the Phils a chance to get closer to the .500 mark.

Joe Blanton went down hill, and he went down fast. After a great start to the season, things have turned around quickly on Blanton. In his last five starts, he has a 1-3 record and a combined 9.91 ERA (29 earned runs in 26 1/3 innings). In his last start, on Friday against the Orioles, Blanton allowed five earned runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings. He allowed a home run, a walk and struck out seven batters to get his first win since May 14th. In his career, Blanton has a 4-4 record with a 4.45 ERA against the Twins. 

On the hill for the Twins will be lefty Scott Diamond (5-1, 1.61 ERA), who is on an impressive run as of late. Diamond, in his second year in the big leagues, is making his eighth start of the season tonight. In his last outing, Diamond held the Cubs scoreless over six while allowing seven hits and striking out five to get his fifth win of the season. Diamond has gone no later than seven innings this season. He works up pitch counts, but has only managed to walk four batters in over 44 innings of work this season. Diamond has never faced the Phillies as a team, but has faced Juan Pierre (1-4, 1 RBI) and Jim Thome (0-2) before. 

To be honest, the Phillies are going to most likely need to score double digits tonight. If the Twins are scoring like they've been scoring and coming back like they have all series long, the Phillies will need to battle back because it's almost immanent that Blanton will not throw a shutout. 

Jim Thome is on a tear during Interleague Play. Jimbo is batting a .476 average with 10 RBI and two home runs in his last five games. It's safe to say that Thome was born to DH.

Tonight's lineup @ Minnesota:

1. Rollins, SS

2. Polanco, 3B

3. Pence, RF

4. Thome, DH

5. Victorino, CF

6. Ruiz, C

7. Wigginton, 1B

8. Mayberry, LF

9. Martinez, 2B

TV: myPHL17 ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP.

Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.

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