Phillies rally in the ninth to beat the Dodgers
LOS ANGELES - Going into their four-game series at Dodger Stadium, the Phillies probably would have been happy to leave with a split.
After winning the first two games, however, they could be excused for getting greedy - even though they'd be facing Zack Greinke and Dan Haren in the last two games.
When Greinke outdueled Cole Hamels on Wednesday, that left the Phillies had to face one of the hottest pitchers in baseball: Haren entered with a 3-0 record and a 1.86 earned run average.
The Phillies countered with Kyle Kendrick (0-2).
So what happened? Carlos Ruiz' two-run double off Brian Wilson broke a tie in the top of the ninth inning and Marlon Byrd's added a two-run single as the Phillies left LA with a 7-3 victory and a 3-1 series win.
“I feel great," Ruiz said after the game.
"I’m working real hard in the [batting] cage and I feel like I got my swing back, and that’s good.”
Mike Adams, who had given up a tying homer to Adrian Gonzalez in the seventh inning, pitched two innings for the win and Jonathan Papelbon closed it out in the ninth.
Ruiz went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two walks and two RBI, and Byrd went 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI to lead the Phillies' attack.
The Phillies gave no hint at the start of the game they'd deliver with runners in scoring position. They mounted rallies in each of the first three innings against Haren, and failed to score.
The Phillies wasted a scoring opportunity in the first inning when Ruiz hit a one-out double to right but was stranded at second when Chase Utley popped out to shortstop and Ryan Howard struck out.
Byrd led off the second inning with a double to left and went to third on Domonic Brown's line single to right. That threat ended when Haren struck out Freddy Galvis, Cody Asche and Kendrick.
The Phillies mounted another threat in the third when Ruiz drew a one-out walk and Utley singled him to second, but Howard struck out and Byrd grounded out.
Meanwhile, Kendrick was limiting the Dodgers to a single in each of the first three innings.
But when the Dodgers finally got a runner in scoring position, guess what? He scored. Gonzalez led off the fourth inning with a double and two outs later, Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer to left, his fourth of the year.
Uribe holds a special dagger in the hearts of Phillies fans: He was one of the stars for the Giants on their way to the World Series championship when they beat the Phillies in the 2010 NLCS.
The Phillies answered with another threat in the fifth inning, when Ben Revere hit a one-out single and went to third on a single by Ruiz. Utley's hard bouncer to first base was mishandled by Gonzalez for an error, scoring Revere. After Howard grounded out, Byrd drove a two-run double to right-center, just out of the reach of lunging rightfielder Yasiel Puig, to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. The two runs were unearned.
Kendrick flirted with trouble in the bottom of the fifth when one-out singles by Hanley Ramirez and Gonzalez gave the Dodgers runners on first and third. Puig grounded to third baseman Asche, whose throw home easily beat Ramirez as Ruiz tagged him out. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly argued that Ruiz blocked the plate before he had the ball, but the replay confirmed the out call. Andre Ethier grounded out to first to end the threat.
Uribe led off the Dodgers' sixth inning by beating out a grounder to shortstop Galvis, confirmed by replay. Two outs later, Dee Gordon singled to end Kendrick's night (10 hits, two runs, one walk, two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings). Reliever Jake Diekman struck out pinch-hitter Matt Kemp to get out of the inning.
In the seventh inning, Gonzalez atoned for his costly error with his homer to dead center off Adams to tie the game at 3 and ensure Kendrick would remain winless. It was Gonzalez' sixth homer of the season.
After Dodgers reliever Chris Perez handled the Phils easily in the eighth and then batted for himself in the bottom of the inning, Wilson got the call to start the ninth.
Asche led off with a single and, after Tony Gwynn Jr. failed to bunt him over, Revere singled to left ahead of Ruiz' two-run double. Utley was walked intentionally and Howard was hit by a pitch. Jamey Wright relieved Wilson, and was greeted by Byrd's two-run single that put the game out of reach.
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