Jayson Werth crammed the best game of his life into three at-bats. He’ll be hard-pressed to deliver an equally superb encore as the Philadelphia Phillies continue their three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.
Werth homered in each of his first three at-bats and finished with a franchise record-tying eight RBIs to power the Phillies (24-19) past the Blue Jays 10-3 on Friday. He became the first Phillies player with three homers in a game since Ryan Howard did so in 2006, and the 18th in the team’s history.
“Anything can happen on any given day, I guess,” said Werth, who had a three-run homer in the second inning, a grand slam in the third and a solo shot in the fifth. “This game is crazy. It’s not like I was trying to do anything like that. It just happened. I don’t know what else to say. It’s just crazy.”
Werth entered the game with just 39 homers in 1,090 career at-bats, and had just one in his previous 14 games. The right fielder, though, is 8-for-15 with 12 RBIs in his last four games.
“Jayson had a great night at the plate,” said Howard, who extended his hitting streak to a season-high eight games and also picked up an RBI for the sixth straight contest. “It’s a night he’ll remember, I’m sure. He deserves it because he’s been working hard at it.”
Howard has raised average 25 points to .188 during his hitting streak.
Toronto’s A.J. Burnett (3-4, 4.94 ERA) now gets the task of trying to slow down Werth and Howard while trying to avoid losing three consecutive starts for the first time since dropping five straight from Aug. 24-Sept. 14, 2005, when he pitched for the Florida Marlins. While the right-hander is 9-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 21 interleague starts, he lost his only one in 2007, and also was roughed up by the Phillies on July 2, 2006 - getting tagged for seven runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Burnett did not get any run support at Cleveland on Monday, giving up three runs in 7 2-3 innings of a 3-0 defeat. He has not defeated the Phillies since April 29, 2005, losing his last three starts to them, and is 4-7 in 14 lifetime starts and 15 overall appearances versus Philadelphia.
Toronto (21-23) dropped to 4-4 on its 10-game road trip and had a four-game winning streak snapped Friday. Alex Rios and Lyle Overbay each had two hits for the Blue Jays, who have scored only 21 runs through the first eight games of their trip and have not scored more than six runs in any game since an 11-3 win at Baltimore on April 15.
Philadelphia’s Adam Eaton (0-1, 5.40) is making his ninth start of 2008, while still looking for his first win since Sept. 21. The right-hander struggled with his control Sunday at San Francisco, walking five in five innings and allowing two runs before leaving without a decision in Philadelphia’s 4-3 loss.
“I minimized the damage, but at the same time, I maximized their opportunities by doing bad things,” Eaton told the Phillies’ official Web site. “I loaded the bases with nobody out and can’t be doing that. A couple of double plays were huge. I beat myself.”
Eaton has won five of his last seven interleague decisions since 2004, and is 6-6 with a 2.91 ERA in 17 career starts against the AL. He won his only start against the Blue Jays, scattering four hits and five walks in six shutout innings last May 20.