Phillies Hold On For Big Win


Tuesday, September 18th 2007, 7:43 am
By: News On 6


Aaron Rowand and the Philadelphia Phillies held on to avoid a monumental collapse and gain ground on the New York Mets, who seem like they can't hold on to anything these days.

Rowand prevented the tying and go-ahead runs from scoring with a tumbling catch on the warning track that ended the eighth inning, and the Phillies outlasted the St. Louis Cardinals 13-11 Monday night after enjoying an 11-run lead earlier in the game.

``That was unreal,'' Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. ``I'm telling you, you never have enough runs.''

The Phillies pulled within 2 1/2 games of the NL East-leading Mets, who committed four more errors and wasted Carlos Beltran's 30th homer in a 12-4 loss to the Washington Nationals.

Add in their six miscues Sunday, and the Mets set a franchise record with 10 errors over two games. They never had more than eight errors over two games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

``It needs to turn around quickly or we're going home,'' catcher Paul Lo Duca said.

In other NL games, it was: Chicago 7, Cincinnati 6; Milwaukee 6, Houston 0; San Diego 3, Pittsburgh 0; San Francisco 8, Arizona 5; and Atlanta 11, Florida 6.

In St. Louis, Ryan Howard hit a grand slam and a solo homer for the Phillies, who led 11-0 in the sixth inning and were clinging to a 12-11 lead when Rowand hauled in Ryan Ludwick's drive in the eighth. Rowand then homered in the ninth, and Francisco Rosario threw a called third strike past Russell Branyan with two on and two out to earn his first career save.

``You try and score as many runs as you can,'' Howard said. ``In this case, we really needed it.''

Skip Schumaker's RBI single off Kane Davis, his third hit of the game, cut the gap to 12-11 before Rowand's catch ended the eighth. The All-Star center fielder ran to the track, twisted around and nearly fell down before the ball tailed back into him. He brought it in as he tumbled backward.

Philadelphia, which swept New York over the weekend, has won five straight to move a season-high 12 games above .500. It remained 1 1/2 games behind San Diego in the wild-card race.

Kyle Kendrick (9-4) got the win, and Brad Thompson (6-6) was charged with the loss.

At Washington, Nook Logan led the Nationals with three hits and three runs, and Jonathan Albaladejo (1-0) earn his first major league victory with 1 1-3 scoreless innings.

Aaron Sele (3-2) gave up three hits and one run in 1 1-3 innings to get the loss.

Cubs 7, Reds 6

Mark DeRosa hit a go-ahead single against a five-man infield for his fifth hit of the game and Chicago rallied for three runs in the ninth inning to hang onto first place in the NL Central.

The host Cubs remained in first by one game over Milwaukee, which beat Houston 6-0.

Cincinnati protested the game, saying Chicago manager Lou Piniella made an illegal double switch in the sixth inning because he did not go directly to the plate umpire.

The Cubs trailed 6-4 when Ryan Theriot worked a leadoff walk off Reds closer David Weathers (2-6), and Derrek Lee followed with a single. Aramis Ramirez then hit a two-run triple to tie it. Pinch-hitter Daryle Ward was walked intentionally, setting up DeRosa's game-winner.

Will Ohman (2-4) pitched the top of the ninth for the win.

Brewers 6, Astros 0

Yovani Gallardo dominated Houston for the second time in two weeks and Corey Hart hit a two-run double for visiting Milwaukee.

Gallardo (9-4) allowed seven hits and struck out five in a season-high eight innings to win his fourth consecutive start. He hasn't allowed a run in 21 innings, a streak that began when he threw seven shutout innings against the Astros in a 14-2 victory on Sept. 5.

Matt Albers (4-9) allowed five runs and five hits in 3 1-3 innings for Houston.

Padres 3, Pirates 0

Rookie Jack Cassel pitched six solid innings for his first big league win and Khalil Greene hit a two-run homer for San Diego, which moved within one game of first-place Arizona in the NL West.

Cassel (1-0) and three relievers combined on the host Padres' 20th shutout, tops in the majors and a franchise record. The 27-year-old right-hander allowed eight hits over six innings.

Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 38th save, extending his career record to 520.

John Van Benschoten (0-6) allowed three runs and five hits in five innings, including Greene's 23rd homer in the fourth.

Giants 8, Diamondbacks 5

At Phoenix, Randy Winn and Pedro Feliz homered off Arizona reliever Tony Pena in the eighth inning.

Arizona led 5-3 when Pena (5-4) opened the eighth by hitting a batter and walking another. Winn, who also had a sacrifice fly, followed with his 11th homer. One out later, pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz doubled and Feliz hit his 19th homer.

Scott Munter (1-0) got the win and Brian Wilson pitched the ninth for his fourth save in four chances.

Braves 11, Marlins 6

At Atlanta, Andruw Jones hit a three-run homer, Jeff Francoeur reached 100 RBIs for the second straight year and John Smoltz pitched six strong innings for the Braves.

Jones hit his 25th homer to cap a five-run fifth inning that gave Atlanta a 10-1 lead.

Francoeur had a run-scoring single in the third and a two-run double in the fifth that gave the 23-year-old outfielder 100 RBIs. He drove in 103 last year, his first full season in the big leagues.

Smoltz (14-7) gave up four hits and one run _ Cody Ross' homer in the second _ in six innings.

Byung-Hyun Kim (9-7) gave up a career-worst nine runs, allowing nine hits and hitting three batters in four-plus innings.