Jimmy Rollins(notes) capped a six-run fifth inning with a three-run homer and Ryan Howard(notes) drove in two runs to help the Happ earn his 11th win, a 9-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night.
“There’s a chance he could wind up in the back end of the bullpen if we don’t get something straightened out,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of the rookie left-hander. “Like if (J.C.) Romero don’t come back or something. I’m not saying we’re going to do that, but we’re going to talk about it, if we don’t have no lefty.”
“He hides the ball real well,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “We just couldn’t get the key hit.”
On Sept. 18 at Atlanta, Happ went just three innings in the shortest start of his career, leaving for precautionary reasons. He had strained his right oblique during batting practice Sept. 5 and missed two starts due to the injury.
Happ retired the first seven batters, the last five on strikeouts, before Jason Kendall(notes) hit a sinking liner in the third that left fielder Ben Francisco(notes) made a diving attempt to catch, but missed. The ball rolled to the wall as Kendall legged out his second triple of the season. One out later, Happ deflected Lopez’s smash up the middle toward second where Chase Utley’s(notes) low throw handcuffed Howard at first and squirted away as the run scored.
“Howard’s played pretty good first base, but tonight it looked like a juggling act or something, a circus or something,” Manuel said. “The ball was running up his arm, hitting him in the chest. That means Howard will play better tomorrow.”
Fielder hit a run-scoring grounder in the bottom of the ninth to tie the sluggers at 132.
Leading 2-1, the Phillies broke the game open with six runs in the fifth to chase Suppan.
Jayson Werth(notes) reached on shortstop Alcides Escobar’s(notes) throwing error and then four consecutive singles produced three runs, including one by Happ for his first career RBI, who drove in his first run, just before Rollins hit his 20th of the season.
Suppan was booed as he walked off the field.
“When he’s right and he’s putting the ball where he wants to, he can be tough,” Manuel said of Suppan. “We were fortunate that the bottom of the lineup hurt him. That was the thing—kind of did him in.”
“We just couldn’t stop the bleeding,” Macha said of the Phillies’ fifth. “Even the pitcher got a hit.”
Suppan allowed eight runs—seven earned—and a season-high 12 hits over 4 1-3 innings.
“I just couldn’t make a pitch in the fifth when I need to, and they put up a big number,” Suppan said.
Happ left with an 8-2 lead and two outs in the sixth after the Brewers scored a run on consecutive doubles by Fielder and Casey McGehee(notes). He allowed two runs on six hits in five 2-3 innings with two walks and seven strikeouts.
NOTES: Happ leads all rookies in ERA (2.79), complete games (three), shutouts (two), strikeouts (112) and innings pitched (158 1-3). … Phillies C Carlos Ruiz(notes) was not with the team after being sent home on Wednesday to undergo an MRI on his sprained left wrist. He had a cortisone shot on Thursday in Philadelphia and then left to join his teammates at Miller Park. He is not expected to play for a few days. … Milwaukee (75-78) is out of the playoff race, but hopes to keep Ken Macha’s streak of winning records alive. The Brewers’ first-year manager, who led the Oakland Athletics for four years and two teams in the minors for four seasons, has never finished below .500.