After the Phillies rallied back from a 4-2 deficit to tie the game with 2 ninth inning runs, catcher Carlos Ruiz put them in front for good on Thursday with a tenth inning leadoff homer. Closer Brad Lidge took over finishing his 3rd straight lights-out effort against Florida on 15 pitches after giving up a 10th inning leadoff single. With the Phils leading 2-0 after six innings, recent acquisition Roy Oswalt went 6 1/3 innings and was charged with 2 Marlins seventh inning runs while appearing to have control problems. Oswalt walked 4 while striking out 5. Lefthander J.C. Romero relieved Oswalt in the seventh and nearly let the game slip away letting in 2 runs charged to Oswalt and giving up the 2 Florida lead runs. But rightfielder Raul Ibanez and centerfielder Jayson Werth drove in the tying runs in the ninth as the Phillies swept the Marlins by a 5-4 score on Ruiz’s 10th inning homer.
With their win, the Phils remained 2 games behind the NL East division-leading Atlanta Braves who edged the San Francisco Giants. The 3rd place Mets, who had the day off on Thursday, dropped to 8 games behind the Braves, and are now 6 games beneath the Phils and 1 game up on the 4th place Marlins.
The Phillies offense pounded out 14 hits and stranded 11 on base while 3 runners were thrown out, 2 of them on attempted steals, during the 2 run eighth inning which could have been much more productive and could have put the game out of the Marlins’ reach in regulation. Placido Polanco, who played part of the game at 3rd base and part at 2nd base, had 3 hits as did suddenly hot eightfielder Raul Ibanez and catcher Ruiz who drove in 3 runs in the game. Centerfielder Jayson Werth added 2 hits.
Oswalt fended off the Marlins through six innings, giving up 2 hits and going clean in four of them while fighting out of jams in the second and third innings. But in the seventh, Oswalt gave up a single and a walk before getting a fielder’s choice grounder to wipe out the lead runner at 3rd base. Having thrown 109 pitches, manager Manuel replaced him with lefthander J.C. Romero who managed to squander away the 2-0 Phillies lead taken in the sixth on Chris Volstad. The 2 runs Romero gave up which were charged to Oswalt closed the book on him the seventh. Romero gave up 2 more runs as Florida seized a 4-2 lead. Jose Contreras came on to give up another hit but got the 2 final outs of the inning on strikeouts.
Philadelphia rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the ninth. Placido Polanco reached to start the inning when shortstop [Hanley] Ramirez made a bad throw for his 14th error this season. Ross Gload singled off Leo Nunez, and a double by Raul Ibanez scored a run. Jayson Werth singled in the tying run.
Then the Phillies self-destructed on the basepaths. Ibanez was caught off third on a grounder and tagged out, Werth was picked off second and Domonic Brown was thrown out trying to steal second.
The sharp grounder in the ninth inning appeared to skip over the third-base bag, a game-winning hit for Gaby Sanchez and the Florida Marlins.
Third-base umpire Bob Davidson saw things differently. He ruled the ball foul, costing the Marlins a walkoff victory…
Ruiz took advantage of the break, hitting his fifth homer off Will Ohman (0-1). Ruiz also had a two-run double in the sixth.
Brad Lidge gave up a leadoff single in the bottom of the 10th to Mike Stanton, who stole second but was stranded there. Lidge earned his 12th save in 16 chances.
To view the scores of all of Thursday’s games, click here.
The Phillies return home on Friday for a big 6 game home stand beginning on Friday with a 3 game weekend series against the Mets followed by an off-day on Monday, followed by a 3 game series with the L.A. Dodgers. In Friday’s opener, Joe Blanton is opposed by 23 year old lefthander Jonathon Niese for the Mets. Saturday’s game is a battle between 2 of the NL’s better lefthanders as Cole Hamels is opposed by Johan Santana.