Phillies use small ball in sixth to jolt Giants 9-5

Rangers bats heat up
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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In spite of giving up the long ball to the Giants? Preston Eklund, who blasted two shots into the trees beyond the center-field fence, the Phillies came back to score six runs in the top half of the sixth inning to hand the Giants their second loss of the season 9-5 in Lincoln Little League Baseball action Monday night. After trading runs for the first two innings, the Bay Area Boys gained a 5-3 lead in the fourth and appeared headed for their magic number with two games remaining. However, the Phils had other ideas. Mat Martelle started things off with a double in the top half of the last inning and was joined by Kyle Thomas and Josh Morris to load the bases. The runs began coming across the plate on walks and bunts and wrapped up when Kyle Easter drove in two runs on an infield hit that gave the Boys from Brother Love a 9-5 lead. Easter also pitched 3 1/3 innings to help limit the league-leading Giants to five runs. ?I was a bit nervous,? said Easter describing the task of facing the SF lineup, ?but that?s baseball.? Brennan Rozell came on in relief in the bottom of the sixth and surrendered only one hit. He closed out the inning with two strikeouts and a ground out to the shortstop. However, the Giants had three wins earlier in the week to stay two games ahead of the second-place Red Sox. The Bay Area club is having trouble keeping the ball in the park ? if that can be thought of as trouble. The SF nine has put 18 shots into the bleachers and seems well on their way to winning the pennant. The Giants topped the BoSox 10-6, the Yankees 12-6 and the Padres 6-0 to help solidify their No. 1 position. The Sox bounced back to topple the Phillies 10-4 to stay a game-and-a-half up on the Phils. The Rangers, although well back in the race, caught their stride to score 29 runs this past week ? in two games. They won them both by hammering the Padres 17-7 and outslugging the Pirates 12-2. Oddly enough, the Texans have just five dingers on the year but are making their way around the base paths at will. Schedule The final regular season games are rapidly coming to an end with the Memorial Day weekend break slowing things just a bit. On tap for tonight, the Phillies visit the Yankees but play won?t resume again until Tuesday when the Giants invade the Big Apple. On Wednesday the Phils call on the Pirates. And just before the final Saturday of the regular season the Rangers will host the Padres Thursday. Lincoln Little League Majors Division Standings Team W L Pct GB 1. Giants 14 2 .875 - 2. Red Sox 12 4 .750 2 3. Phillies 10 5 .667 3 ½ 4. Padres 8 7 .533 5 ½ 5. Yankees 5 11 .313 9 6. Rangers 4 11 .267 9 ½ 7. Pirates 1 14 .067 12 ½ Home Run Leaders Preston Eklund, Giants ? 9 Charles Middleton, Padres - 7 Chad Bagwell, Yankees ? 6 Gregory Pallas, Padres ? 6 James Sweet, Giants ? 6 Cade Borgerson, Yankees ? 4 Michael Hamp, Red Sox ? 4 Ryan Graham, Yankees ? 3 Joseph Flores, Padres ? 3 Greden McFarlin, Red Sox ? 3 Also hitting home runs: Zack Eutsey (G, 2), Jace Krick (G, 2), Leo Martinez (Ra, 2), Lee Michaelson (Ra, 2), Pablo Miller (RS, 2), Ty Williams (Ph, 2), Justin Kraft (Ph, 2) and one each Matt Brown (Pi), Cole Cavarra (RS), Blake Christopherson (G), Deven Coffer (Y), , Grady Manley (Ph), Trevor Rodriquez (Pa), Bobby Tofft (Pa), Nick Ulloa (Ra) and Moises Huerta (Ph).