Phillies Blow Lead In Loss To Marlins

Monday, September 3rd 2007, 12:58 pm
By: News On 6

In a few weeks, the Philadelphia Phillies might look back at a pair of one-run games that ended minutes apart as the critical moment of the division race.

The Phillies blew a five-run lead in a 7-6 loss at Florida on Sunday, while Tom Glavine pitched the New York Mets to a 3-2 victory over Atlanta to complete a series sweep.

Philadelphia, which has lost two in a row after winning six straight, dropped four games behind the first-place Mets in the NL East. The Braves have lost nine of 12 and are only 22-26 since the All-Star break, falling 7 1/2 games out of first.

The Phillies and Mets each have 26 games remaining, including a three-game series at Shea Stadium that begins Sept. 14.

``We needed this one,'' said Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins. ``We jump out there and get a five-spot _ there's no way that should be given up.''

Cody Ross drove in three runs with two homers to lead the comeback by the last-place Marlins. Miguel Cabrera hit his 31st homer, and Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla hit back-to-back homers in the seventh to give Florida a two-run lead.

``Five home runs, and they were good ones,'' said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, whose club is 11-21 in one-run games and 61-43 in all others. ``There were no cheapies.''

In Atlanta, David Wright's two-run homer helped Glavine beat former teammate John Smoltz for the first time in four tries this season.

``For bragging rights it was nice to finally beat him,'' Glavine said. ``He's certainly had my number.''

Glavine (12-6) gave up five hits and one run in six innings.

``I don't know that I pitched much better today than I did in any of the other times against those guys,'' Glavine said. ``I just got better results.''

In other NL games, it was the Los Angeles Dodgers 5, San Diego 0; Colorado 4, Arizona 3; the Chicago Cubs 6, Houston 5; Milwaukee 7, Pittsburgh 4; St. Louis 3, Cincinnati 2; and Washington 2, San Francisco 1.

The Marlins scored seven times before they made an out in Saturday's win, but the offense took awhile to get going Sunday. Pitcher Adam Eaton's first homer since 2003 put the Phils ahead 5-0 in the fourth.

``Given a five-run lead, it's real frustrating not to hold down the fort,'' Eaton said.

Ross hit his 10th homer _ and his third in four at-bats over two games _ for a 5-all tie in the sixth. Then Ramirez hit his 24th homer on the second pitch from Kane Davis (0-1), and Uggla hit his 28th homer, surpassing his total as a rookie last year.

Justin Miller (5-0) earned the win in relief and Kevin Gregg picked up his 28th save in 30 chances, but not without a bit of drama.

With the score 7-5, Gregg came on to retire Pat Burrell on a popup with runners on second and third to end the eighth. The Phillies scored in the ninth on a two-out RBI single by Carlos Ruiz, and Chase Utley walked to load the bases.

Rollins took strikes on 2-0 and 3-1 pitches, and the Phillies disputed both calls.

``It seems like we'd get some of those,'' Manuel said. ``That ain't the first time. What are you going to say?''

The Braves' only extra-base hit in the series against the Mets was a ninth-inning double Sunday by Brian McCann off closer Billy Wagner, who also gave up a run-scoring single to Kelly Johnson. Wagner then ended the comeback for his 30th save in 34 chances.

``I'm going to have to pitch better,'' Wagner said. ``The results have to be better.''

Smoltz (12-7) gave up nine hits and three runs in seven innings, before lamenting the lack of offense. The Mets held Atlanta to four runs in three games.

``To me, that's a shock,'' he said. ``This offense has been good all year. For them to come in here and hold us down to four runs and only one extra-base hit, that's a shock.

``You gotta win. When you give up three runs, you gotta win.''

Dodgers 5, Padres 0

At San Diego, Chad Billingsley (10-4) struck out nine in seven innings of four-hit ball, and the Padres avoided a sweep to remain a percentage point ahead of Arizona in the NL West.

Justin Germano (7-8) lost for the eighth time in 10 decisions after winning his first five decisions. He allowed one run and eight hits in six innings.

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3

At Phoenix, Matt Holliday singled, homered and drove in two runs to back Josh Fogg (8-9) and pull Colorado within five games of the division lead.

Arizona's Brandon Webb (14-10) struggled for the second straight start, allowing four runs and five hits over seven innings. He struck out seven and trailed 1-0 before retiring a batter.

Cubs 6, Astros 5

At Chicago, Derrek Lee hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning, and Carlos Marmol (5-1) picked up a win in relief as Chicago stayed 1 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee in the NL Central.

Trailing 5-4, Alfonso Soriano singled off Astros reliever Chad Qualls (6-4) and with two outs, Lee homered to cap a four-run comeback by the Cubs.

Brewers 7, Pirates 4

At Milwaukee, Prince Fielder hit his NL-leading 40th home run of the season, Ryan Braun also homered and Jeff Suppan (9-11) won his first game since June 22.

Bill Hall broke a 4-all tie in the fifth inning with an RBI single off reliever Franquelis Osoria (0-1) as the Brewers kept pace in the division.

Cardinals 3, Reds 2

At St. Louis, Rick Ankiel homered for the second time in three days to snap a sixth-inning tie, helping Braden Looper (12-10) improve to 7-1 in day games and the Cardinals stay two back of the Cubs in the NL Central.

Bronson Arroyo (7-14) allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Nationals 2, Giants 1

At Washington, Ryan Zimmerman hit a one-out RBI single off Brian Wilson (1-1) in the bottom of the ninth inning, the sixth game-winning hit of his two-year career.

Chad Cordero (3-3) pitched the ninth inning for the victory.