Phils' Stormy Sweep Against Cleveland

Blanton picks up win and phils show signs of old selves as storm takes south philly

Ryan Howard had barely made the short trip to the dugout from first base when gusting wind and rain enveloped Citizens Bank Park.

"It was like a tornado came,'' Howard said. "I was waiting for the cow to fly through. The winds were really swirling.''

Waiting through the mid-afternoon storm was all that remained for the Philadelphia Phillies to finish a 12-3 rout of Fausto Carmona and the Cleveland Indians to complete a three-game sweep Thursday.

Placido Polanco had four hits, Chase Utley and Jayson Werth each had three hits and catcher Dane Sardinha connected for his first career home run for the Phillies.

It was Philadelphia's highest offensive output since scoring 12 runs against Pittsburgh on May 17. Every Phillie scored and reached base at least once.

Joe Blanton pitched effectively into the eighth inning his second straight strong outing and might have gone the distance if not for the thunderstorm that pounded the field with two outs in the eighth. It caused a delay of 1 hour, 37 minutes, and fierce winds made putting the tarp on the field difficult for the grounds' crew, but cooled off a 96-degree day.

"It reminded me of back home (in Illinois),'' Werth said. "It was like a real tornado.''

The Phillies roughed up Cleveland's best pitcher to record their sixth win in eight games. They had two five-run innings, and the 15 hits was their most since recording 17 on May 15 at Milwaukee.

A five run second inning began with singles by Werth, Raul Ibanez and Wilson Valdez.

Sardinha then grounded to third baseman Andy Marte, but his throw home went off catcher Carlos Santana’s glove and rolled to the backstop for the rookie’s first error, allowing two runs to score.

Carmona hit Blanton with a pitch to reload the bases. Shane Victorino drove in a run with a groudout, and Polanco singled in a run. Blanton scored the fifth run on a sacrifice fly.

Blanton, now 3-5, cruised with the run support, tossing a season-high 7 2-3 innings. He allowed three runs and six hits, while walking none and striking out eight.

“I changed some things mechanically and a keeping the ball down more,” Blanton said. “I just want to keep progressing with every start.”

As of late, Werth has been especially hot for Philly, going 15 for 38 (.395) in his previous 12 games, after a 3-for-41 (.073) slump. He had three hits for the second straight game, after watching video from a good stretch last season.

"I was messing around with some different stances,'' he said. "I did that last year at some point. It helped get me out of wherever I was.''

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