After Ryan Howard was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple in the third inning Friday night, it became obvious that his Achilles injury has forever robbed him of the title, "a big guy who can run." The extensive surgery and recovery, though, has left intact the title, "big guy who can hit." In the Phillies' 4-1 win over the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, Howard went deep for the second game in a row. He has now homered four times in his last nine games (35 plate appearances) after hitting only one home run in his first 19 games (78 plate appearances). The Phillies (14-16) improved to 4-1 in games Howard has homered this year and 186-90 in games he has homered in his career. "It's being patient enough to get a good pitch to hit and then being aggressive enough in going after it," Howard said." Since April 17, Howard is hitting .340 (17-for-50) with five doubles, four home runs and 13 RBIs. "Probably now just kind of laying off some of the bad stuff and trying to make them get it up a little bit," Howard added. An inning after Howard homered and Ben Revere drove in a run with a single to make it 2-0, Chase Utley hit a solo shot to put the Phillies ahead 3-0 in the third. It was the 49th time in club history that Howard and Utley have homered in the game, making it the highest total for any current teammates in all of baseball. The Marlins' only run off Jonathan Pettibone came in the fourth inning when Donovan Solano hit a home run, his first of the season, to left-center field. Dom Brown's solo shot in the fourth completed the scoring. He and Howard, who each homered on back-to-back-nights, are tied for second on the team in home runs with five (Utley has six). Is there a little competition brewing? "That's all good with me," Howard said. "As long as we're going out there trying to contribute, I'll take it. We can go out there and try to hit a home run every day if that's the case." All three of the Phillies' home runs led off innings. The victory gave Pettibone wins in back-to-back outings. He gave up five hits, struck out three and didn't walk anyone in 61/3 innings. The Phillies have won all three of his starts, a stretch during which he posted a 3.24 ERA ( 6 ER, 162/3 IP) and walked only two batters.
His speed may not be, but Ryan Howard's power is back
Allentown Morning Call | May 4