Four homers pace Phils over Yankees
Rollins, Ruiz, Werth, Ibanez each tee off at new Stadium
NEW YORK -- Jimmy Rollins prayed on it.
Brett Myers acted on it.
Rollins and Myers needed just three pitches to set the tone for the Phillies in Friday night's 7-3 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Rollins hit a first-pitch fastball from New York right-hander A.J. Burnett over the right-field fence for the 29th leadoff home run of his career to give Philadelphia the early lead. Myers threw a 1-0 fastball behind Derek Jeter's back in the bottom of the first inning to send a message to the Yanks after Burnett hit Chase Utley in the right shoulder with the pitch immediately following Rollins' home run.
"First time at Yankee Stadium, my first swing to be a home run," Rollins said. "I prayed on it. Prayers get answered. More than just the home run, it was the way I want to set the tone. Be aggressive."
Myers allowed just one run through his first seven innings in what probably should be considered his best effort of the season. In eight innings, he allowed eight hits and three runs and struck out five. He is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his past three starts.
The pitch behind Jeter's back isn't why Myers pitched so well, but it certainly indicated he meant business.
"That's what we need to do as a team," Myers said. "Everybody protects each other on the team. It's part of the game. It's kind of like eye for an eye."
"Brett Myers took care of it and said all that needs to be said about it," Rollins said.
The Phillies hit four home runs in a game that featured seven homers inside a ballpark that is quickly developing a reputation as a hitter's paradise. Of course, the homers hit Friday were pretty legitimate.
Carlos Ruiz's two-run home run to left-center field was hit well. It gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead.
Jayson Werth's two-run homer to left field in the fifth landed in the second deck, the first homer to land there in the short history of the new Yankee Stadium. It gave the Phillies a 5-0 lead.
Raul Ibanez absolutely crushed a solo homer to right-center field in the seventh to make it 6-1.
"If the field is anything under 500 feet, it's going to give up some home runs," Rollins said.
Philadelphia had a rare combination Friday of good hitting, good pitching and good fielding (save for Utley's error in the fifth). The Phillies starters have been lambasted for weeks because they have the worst ERA in baseball. So for Myers to come up against a hot Yankees team -- the Phillies snapped New York's nine-game winning streak -- and shut them down was huge.
Werth thought it was the team's most complete game of the season.
"I think we're playing good ball right now," he said. "We just need to keep it going. It's a long way to go, so there's no reason to get too excited, but things are going good."
Johnny Damon stood on first base when Alex Rodriguez ripped a two-run double to left field in the first inning. Damon raced around the bases and headed home, but Ibanez threw a strike to Rollins, who threw a bullet to home plate to get Damon at the plate to end the inning.
Myers retired the next seven batters he faced.
Myers allowed a solo homer to Rodriguez in the sixth, and solo homers to Jeter and Mark Teixeira in the eighth, but he never got into any jams, never gave Phillies manager Charlie Manuel any cause for concern.
"The last inning I just tried to go after them," Myers said. "It was a pretty substantial lead so I just tried to get ahead and go from there."
Myers said Rollins' solo homer in the first helped.
Any early lead helps a pitcher.
"To any pitcher, that's like their best friend," Myers said. "Just the way they came out swinging the bats kind of relaxes you a little bit."
And the way Myers was pitching made the offense feel like they didn't have to hit four more homers to win the game.
Hitters helping pitchers and pitchers helping hitters. It's a combination the Phillies would like to see more often this season.
"He was excellent," Rollins said of Myers. "He's been great his last two outings. Tonight even better than his last. Hopefully, this is the Brett we're going to get the rest of the time. He has that type of stuff once he starts believing in it again. He's definitely done that the last two times. His preparation going out there prior to the game -- he's focused. There's no bouncing around, no playing air guitar. He's trying to get the job done and tonight we got to see the effects of what happens when you do things the right way."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.