PHILADELPHIA (AP)—The way things have been going for the Phillies, manager Charlie Manuel had to be pretty confident the umpires would rule Mike Lieberthal’s flyball to left was a home run.
Lieberthal’s disputed drive did end up a three-run homer and Randy Wolf pitched seven solid innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies over the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 Sunday, their sixth straight win.
“Luck counts a lot in this game and we’ve been getting the breaks lately,” Manuel said.
Pat Burrell also homered for the Phillies, who have won nine of 10 and improved to a season-high three games over .500 at 30-27. The Diamondbacks lost their fifth straight and for the eighth time in 10 games.
Lieberthal’s home run came during a four-run second inning against Brad Halsey (4-3).
With runners on second and third, Lieberthal hit a flyball that appeared to hit the top of the left-field fence and bounce back onto the field. Third base umpire Dale Scott ruled it a double.
Television replays clearly showed the ball hit the top of the fence.
Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel came out to argue that the ball had landed in the flower box just beyond the fence and should have been a homer. The umpires then convened and awarded Lieberthal the home run.
“If the ball hits the flowers, it’s a homer,” Manuel said.
Asked if he saw the replays, Manuel responded, “I don’t need to see them.”
Lieberthal did see the replay and felt he got a break.
“I saw it on the video board and it wasn’t a home run. It was about two inches short. I’ll take it though,” he said.
Arizona manager Bob Melvin was ejected by second base umpire Dan Iassogna for arguing the overturned call.
“The umpire (Scott) was right there and made the call and was overruled,” Melvin said. “Iassogna said he clearly saw it go into the flowers. It’s not going to hit the flowers and bounce back like it hits the pad.
“They don’t have the luxury of the replay, Melvin added.”
Philadelphia also benefited from two calls in their series against San Francisco last week. Two rulings on catches that might have been trapped went in the Phillies favor in seperate victories.
Lieberthal had been struggling with runners on base, hitting .129 (4-for-31) before the home run. In his last five at-bats with runners on base, Lieberthal has three hits.
“Everything goes in cycles and we’re all hitting with guys on base right now,” Lieberthal said.
Wolf (6-4) allowed two runs on five hits en route to his fifth straight win. He has won his last for starts and hasn’t lost since May 4—a span of six starts. Wolf struck out four and walked four.
“I had better location in the strike zone,” Wolf said. “The more you go after guys, the deeper in games, you’ll go. That’s what we need right now, we have to give the guys in the bullpen a break.”
Arizona cut the lead to 6-5 in the eighth with three runs—two unearned— against Cormier. Billy Wagner earned his 14th save but had some trouble doing so.
“As long as I get the save, I really don’t care what happens to that point,” Wagner said.
The Phillies extended the lead to 6-0 in the third. Bobby Abreu doubled and later scored on a wild pitch. Bell followed with his second homer—a solo shot — to left field.
Arizona pushed across a pair of runs in the fourth on Clark’s two-run double to make it 6-2. Clark went 3-for-5 with RBIs.
Halsey gave up a season-high six runs on nine hits and struck out two.
Despite the loss, Gonzalez said the milestone homer carried a special feeling.
“It was very special because I had three of my roommates from college flown in for the game,” he said. “We picked the date early in the year, but I really didn’t know it would happen in this game.”
Gonzalez finished with three hits for the Diamondbacks. … The Phillies are 9-1 in their last 10 meetings with Arizona dating back to 2003. … Wolf has won four straight starts for the first time since August 16-September 5, 2002. … Jose Cruz Jr. had two hits, snapping an 0-for-17 skid. … Gonzalez has a club-record 193 career home runs for Arizona.