Ryne Sandberg has finally won as the Philadelphia Phillies’ manager. The Phillies broke a four game losing streak with a 3-2 walk-off win Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers, who came in as the winner of their last 10 games, are winning at a historic clip – 42-8 over their last 50 games coming in. Starters Ricky Nolasco and especially Cole Hamels both had decent outings, but the Phillies would prevail, walking off in the bottom of the ninth inning due to a Hanley Ramirez error.
The Dodgers got on the board against Cole Hamels in the top of the 2nd inning with an Andre Ethier home run. Ethier would contribute again in the 4th with a leadoff single, and would advance to second base on a wild pitch by Hamels. Jerry Hairston would drive Ethier home with a single of his own, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead midway through the fourth.
In the home half of the fourth, Darin Ruf would break the scoreless streak, which finally ended at 21 and 2/3 innings. Ruf blasted his 8th home run of the year to left field to put the Phillies on the board. The Dodgers hadn’t allowed a run in 31 and 2/3 innings to that point, just a testament to how good they have been lately.
The Phillies were able to tie the game up in the 6th inning. Chase Utley would get on base after being hit by a Nolasco curveball. Domonic Brown singled to Yasiel Puig in right field, and Utley decided to go to third base. Puig would throw to third, attempting to get Utley, but the throw was too high. Brown would move up to second on the play.
Nolasco would walk Ruf to load the bases, which set up the double play. Cody Asche would ground into a fielder’s choice, but the Dodgers were unable to turn the double play due to Asche’s speed. Utley would score on the play, tying the game at 2. The Phillies would not be able to bring any more runs home in the inning, but were able to climb back into the game.
The Dodgers would pull Ricky Nolasco after 6 innings, in which he allowed 5 hits, 2 runs, one walk, and struck out 5. The Phillies would threaten in the seventh inning, but were not able to do any damage against Dodgers’ relief pitcher Ronald Belisario.
Hamels pitched well through 7 innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, no walks, and striking out 8. He would be lifted for the 8th in for Phils’ reliever BJ Rosenberg. Rosenberg would work out of trouble and get Yasiel Puig to fly out to end the inning.
Dodgers’ reliever Paco Rodriguez shut down the Phillies in the home half of the 8th. Jonathan Papelbon came in to pitch the top of the 9th, and allowed just a single. Papelbon would eventually pick up the win.
Brandon League came in to pitch the bottom of the 9th. Capser Wells began by reaching on a Hanley Ramirez throwing error to begin the rally. Carlos Ruiz, who went 4-4 today, would single to right, allowing Wells to go to third.
After an intentional walk of pinch-hitter Jimmy Rollins, Michael Young would pinch hit for Michael Martinez. He would hit a ball to Hanley Ramirez, who bobbled the throw for his second error of the inning, allowing the Phillies to a walk-off 3-2 win. Jonathan Papelbon picked up the win, and Brandon League was charged with the loss. Ryne Sandberg picked up his first win as a major league manager.
The Phillies salvage the last game of the series to move to 54-69 and break a four-game losing streak. They managed to cool down the red-hot Dodgers, who had won their past 10. The Dodgers are now 72-51, leading the NL West. The Colorado Rockies arrive tomorrow for the first of a four-game set.
Honorable Mention: Michael Young, Pinch Hitter: 0-1, walk-off RBI, reached on error
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