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06/06/09 9:08 PM ET

Phils' Blanton getting better feel on hill

Right-hander allows just five hits in six innings vs. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Joe Blanton has had a better feeling on the mound lately.

He knows he can throw a pitch to a certain spot.

Blanton allowed just five hits and one run in six innings in a 3-2 loss in 12 innings to the Dodgers on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. His only mistake came in the fourth inning when he allowed a home run to right field to Andre Ethier to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

"I feel like my stuff is coming out pretty good," Blanton said. "I feel like I have an idea where I'm going to throw it instead of throwing it up there and hoping it goes to the right spot."

Blanton never found himself in much trouble other than that one pitch to Ethier. He retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced when Ethier homered. He had runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth but got Matt Kemp to fly out to center fielder Shane Victorino.

"I felt like in the first few innings today I made some quality pitches," he said. "It was one of those days, I kind of got away in the last couple innings with fly balls that went pretty deep on some not very good pitches. Sometimes that's the way it goes, you know? You're throwing the ball well and you kind of get away with things."

This continues a good stretch for Blanton, who was 2-3 with a 7.11 ERA after his first eight starts. In his past three starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA (four earned runs in 20 innings).

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.