1. Philly Power: The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Mets in wild fashion to complete a four-game sweep of New York and climb within two games of them in the division. Philly’s 11-10 win on Thursday was highlighted by four homers, including two by Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard’s 36th on the year. The Phils got out to a 5-0 lead in the third off Aaron Rowand’s homer, but then the Mets scored five straight runs of their own. After Philly scored to make it 8-5, the Mets put up five more runs in the eighth. Philly rallied the last two innings to win the game, winning on a Chase Utley single in the ninth. The win sent them within two games of the Mets in the division. The Phils were seven back as recently as Saturday. The Braves have a chance to make up some ground on New York over the weekend, as the Mets travel to Turner Field for a three-game set.
2. The Pointless Sweep: The Yankees swept the Red Sox, but in doing so they ended up about where they were last week. At five games back, they still have a lot of work to do. The Yanks beat the Sox with pitching, especially on Thursday, when Chien-Ming Wang completely shut down Boston in a 5-0 win. Wang went seven innings with one hit and no runs allowed. He improved to 16-6, tying Josh Beckett and John Lackey for the major league wins lead. Wang had a no-hitter going through six innings. Robinson Cano hit two homers for the Yankees, who have taken 8 of 15 games against Boston this season. Curt Schilling’s above-average effort for the Red Sox was ruined by the lack of offense and Hideki Okajima’s three runs allowed in the eighth. The next and final Red Sox-Yankees meeting this year will be September 14-16 at Fenway.
3. Keeping the Lead: The Diamondbacks scored five runs off Cy Young candidate Chris Young and got out to an 8-0 lead, but they still had to hold on to win the game and take the division lead over San Diego. The Padres rallied in the 7th-9th innings, scoring seven runs. However, after Milton Bradley’s solo homer in the ninth with one out, they were unable to score again. The D-Backs now have a one game lead over the Padres in the division. San Diego will face the red-hot Dodgers this weekend, who have won four straight and are four games back. Then they will play the D-Backs again in a hugely important series.
Player of the Day: Magglio Ordonez, Tigers: 3-4, HR (26), 3 RBIs in the Tigers’ 6-1 win over the Royals. Ordonez, who has 119 RBIs, helped the Tigers avoid an embarrassing sweep at the hands of KC.