Phillies 3, Pirates 1

John Perrotto, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- Ryan Howard broke out of an ugly slump, but it was a ground-out on a 12-pitch at-bat by the slugging first baseman that most impressed Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.
"He was really battling," Manuel said. "When he has a 12-pitch at-bat, he's staying on the ball, not trying to do too much and putting the fat part of the bat on the ball. Then he had a big -- a huge -- hit later on."
Howard broke a 0-for-22 skid with an RBI single that keyed a three-run sixth inning as the Phillies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 at PNC Park and snapped the National League Central leaders' nine-game winning streak.
It was the Pirates' longest streak since winning 10 in a row in 2004.
Howard had struck out 12 times during his slide when he stepped to the plate against rookie Brandon Cumpton in the top of the sixth inning of a scoreless game. Chase Utley had reached on a fielder's choice and Jimmy Rollins had singled to put runners on the corners.
Howard then lined a single to left-center to score Utley. Domonic Brown followed with a sacrifice fly and Delmon Young made it 3-0 by ripping a double to the 410-foot gap in left-center field.
Cumpton had retired Howard in first two trips to plate, including the marathon at-bat in the first.
Howard was given the last two games of a weekend series against the Dodgers at Los Angeles to rest an ailing knee and also take a mental break. The time off seemed to help.
"My knee hurts now," Howard said about 45 minutes after the game Tuesday. "I went through a stretch where I got to rest it because I wasn't on base a whole lot, but it felt good to get a knock to put us ahead, get another knock and run around a little bit."
The Phillies' sixth-inning outburst was enough to give rookie Jonathan Pettibone (4-3) his first win since May 14.
The Phillies had lost seven straight games and 13 of their last 14 when scoring three runs or less.
Pettibone gave up only one run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings, with three walks and six strikeouts. The right-hander came into the game with a 6.39 road ERA in 31 innings.
"He was good, but it was hot and he kind of ran out of steam," Manuel said. "He did his job ..."
Six relievers combined to pitch 3 1/3 scoreless innings, with Jonathan Papelbon working a 1-2-3 ninth for his 16th save in 20 opportunities.
Howard and Michael Young each had two hits for the Phillies.
Cumpton (0-1), making a spot start, took a shutout into the sixth inning but was lifted after Young's double. Recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game to make his third major-league start, Cumpton allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, with one walk and three strikeouts.
"I thought I got in a groove early on," Cumpton said. "The third time through the lineup is definitely a lot tougher. I fell behind a little bit and left some pitches up. I didn't make my pitches and they put them in play and made me pay."
Garrett Jones accounted for Pittsburgh's lone run when he homered to the seats in center field in the bottom of the sixth. It was Jones' eighth home run of the season and chased Pettibone.
Down 3-1, the Pirates loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth inning but Manuel called on Justin DeFratus, who struck out Jordy Mercer to escape the jam.
DeFratus gave up A.J. Ellis' walk-off single last Saturday night at Los Angeles. There were a number of Phillies fans in the crowd of 30,301 on Tuesday, and many booed the rookie.
"I'm thinking I've been failing enough. Let's try something different here," DeFratus said with a smile. "All kidding aside, I'm thinking here's a chance to redeem yourself, get it done. I've failed before. It's not like I died from it. Just go back out there, throw the ball hard and get people out."
Both teams missed a chance to score in the early innings.
Brown led off the Phillies' second with a single to right field and continued to second when Travis Snider misplayed the ball for an error. However, Snider recovered in time for Brown to be thrown out at third base.
Pittsburgh loaded the bases with two outs in the third, but Jones struck out swinging against Pettibone.
"The chances we had we weren't able to convert," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, whose team left nine runners on base. "There's no guarantee, obviously, you're going to win every game when you're up here. You never like to lose, but we weren't able to meet some of the demands that were there for us tonight to get some runs."
NOTES: Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett pitched a three-inning simulated game Tuesday, facing teammates Clint Barmes, Gaby Sanchez and Snider. Burnett, who has been on the disabled list since June 9 with a strained right calf, will be re-evaluated Wednesday before the Pirates decide the next step in his rehab. ... Philadelphia RHP Kyle Kendrick, who suffered a concussion when he was hit on the helmet June 30 by a pitch from Dodgers RHP Stephen Fife, was cleared to resume physical activity. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. If he gets through that without incident, he will start Saturday against Atlanta. ... The Pirates optioned INF/OF Josh Harrison to Indianapolis to make room for Cumpton. ... Philadelphia LHP John Lannan (1-2, 4.83) faces Pittsburgh LHP Jeff Locke (7-1, 2.06) on Wednesday night.

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