TORONTO – Aaron Hill hit two home runs to surpass Roberto Alomar’s club record for homers by a second baseman, but the early lead they provided wasn’t enough for the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
The Philadelphia Phillies came back with four runs in the fourth, keyed by Chase Utley’s two-run triple against left-hander Brian Tallett (5-5), to beat the Blue Jays for the second game in a row, 5-4, before a Rogers Centre crowd of 36,379.
Phillies starter Jamie Moyer (6-6) lasted five innings and allowed four runs and five hits, including Hill’s club-leading 18th and 19th homers of the season, and the second of the year by Jose Bautista.
“He’s got two World Series rings, bottom line,” Hill said when asked about Alomar.
Brad Lidge picked up his 14th save of the season and first since coming off the disabled list last week despite giving up a bunt single and a walk in the ninth. The big second out came when Lidge caught pinch-runner John McDonald stealing”.
McDonald was running for Raul Chavez who led off the ninth with a bunt single and took second on Marco Scutaro’s walk. Hill popped out and Vernon Wells was at the plate when manager Cito Gaston gave the steal sign.
“We were trying to get to third base there,” Gaston said. “Then he can score on a fly ball and a base hit wins the ballgame.”
Lidge threw to third baseman Pedro Feliz and McDonald was caught in a rundown.
“I got too good of a break and got myself out there a little too far and, when they had the inside move, I couldn’t get back,” McDonald said. “I was watching his tendencies and thought I was getting a good break to be able to steal a base.”
The Blue Jays had the bases loaded with two out in the eighth against Ryan Madson but pinch-hitter Russ Adams ended the threat with a bloop to third.”
With Hill hitting solo homers in the first and third and Bautista hitting a two-run homer in the second, the Blue Jays couldn’t do more damage against Moyer.
After Hill gave Toronto a 4-1 lead in the third, Scott Rolen doubled to extend his career-high hit string to 16 games and Adam Lind walked. Moyer struck out Alex Rios and Lyle Overbay to end the inning.
“We pretty much did the same thing to Moyer the last time 1/8the Blue Jays 7-1 win in Philadelphia on Junen 17 3/8,” Gaston said. “We got four runs off him real quick and then he kind of slowed us down but we had a lot of opportunities to get more runs off of him.
“Tallet just had that one had inning there.”
Tallet was disappointed by the six walks he allowed, including three to Jayson Werth who hit two homers in Philadelphia’s 10-0 victory on Saturday. Werth singled and walked four times on Sunday.
“If it’s borderline pitches that could be called strikes but are called balls it’s one thing,” Tallet said. “But when you’re missing as bad as I was missing on the walks, it’s uncompetitive.
“It really slows the game down for your defence, stuff like that. I gave up the four-spot that turned out to be critical and the difference in the game.”
The loss took away from Hill’s accomplishment in passing Alomar, a consistent all-star in his day.
“That’s not really what you’re shooting for,” Hill said. “You want to win a ball game, it’s a big game for us.”
Hill said he knows how good Alomar was and feels he has a long way to go to approach his achievements.
” 1/8Hill 3/8 had a big day there,” said Gaston, who also managed Alomar. “I’m happy to see it for him. He missed most of last year with a concussion and there were times there when we really didn’t know if he was going to be able to come back and play.
“No one knew that. With the year he’s having, some kind of way he’s got to get on that all-star team.”
The Phillies scored in the third when Ryan Howard’s groundout brought home Shane Victorino from third where he was perched after a leadoff single, Jayson Werth’s walk and a passed ball on Utley’s strikeout.
The Phillies came back with four in the fourth, two on Utley’s two-out triple. Feliz led off with a single, Chris Coste walked and Tallet was too deliberate in fielding Eric Bruntlett’s bunt that went for a single instead of a sacrifice.
That loaded the bases with no-one out Carlos Ruiz’s fielder’s choice grounder to third scored one run and Victorino hit a sacrifice fly. Werth singled to set up Utley’s triple off wall in centre.
NOTES: Blue Jays catcher Rod Barajas said Sunday the only problem he has with his strained right hamstring is run. He said he can catch and hit but how much time he misses will depend on when he can run. He injured the hamstring hitting a single in the second inning of Friday’s 6-1 victory over the Phillies. Last year’s American League champion Tampa Bay Rays visit Toronto for the first time this season on Monday and Roy Halladay (10-1, 2.53 earned-run average) will make his first start since leaving his June 12 start with a mild groin strain. Jeff Niemann (6-4, 4.23 ERA) will start against HalladayMatt Garza (5-5, 3.61 ERA) and James Shields (6-5, 3.41 ERA) also will start for Tampa with Scott Richmond (6-4, 3.68 ERA) and left-hander Ricky Romero (5-3, 3.20 ERA) also start in the series for Toronto.