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Was Blanton's start his last in Philadelphia?

The SportsXchange

There wasn't a grand amount of build-up or a stirring goodbye gesture Sunday when Joe Blanton left the mound at Citizens Bank Park for potentially the final time.

Then again, the Philadelphia Phillies right-hander is accustomed to hearing his name thrown around in hypothetical trade discussions.

"It's something I'm sort of used to," Blanton said. "I got used to it in Oakland. Oakland is an organization that trades players a lot. It doesn't affect me one way or another. I don't pay attention to it anymore."

Blanton has only been traded once in his career -- in July 2008, from the A's to the Phillies, right before Philadelphia made a run to the World Series. This year, he could prove to be a big factor for another team that is in contention.

Blanton picked up an eight-inning no-decision Sunday as Philadelphia snapped a three-game losing streak overall and a seven-game home skid with a 4-3, 12-inning win over the San Francisco Giants.

Blanton allowed two Nate Schierholtz homers but was otherwise pretty solid. He struck out six while allowing seven hits and three earned runs.

"I felt like I threw the ball pretty well today," Blanton said. "I made two mistakes to the same guy, but he was swinging the bat well the last time."

Blanton is a free agent at the end of the year, and he could be sought after by teams looking for back-end-of-the-rotation talent. Another batch of scouts came out to watch him start, including representatives from the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels.

He has thrown six innings or more in each of his last nine starts and eight innings in both starts after the All-Star break. In nine starts when pitching seven innings or more this year, Blanton has posted a 2.21 ERA.

"He was putting the ball where he wanted to put it," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
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