PHILADELPHIA (AP)—The heat tired out Arizona’s starter, and Philadelphia roughed up the Diamondbacks’ fill-in closer.
Green put an emphatic end to Philadelphia’s six-game winning streak, driving in a season-high four runs, and Lopez earned a rare save in Arizona’s 10-8 victory over the Phillies on Monday.
Philadelphia was playing its best baseball of the season, getting quality starts, clutch hitting and even a few timely breaks during its longest winning streak of the season. It all disappeared under the blazing sun in the finale of the four-game series as the Phillies played more like the team that was six games under .500 nearly four weeks ago.
“When you’re going bad, you want to stay away from sweeps,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.
But Philadelphia nearly pulled this one out, too. The Phillies scored four runs off Brian Bruney in the ninth, and had runners on the corners with two outs. Lopez came on to strike out pinch-hitter Todd Pratt and record his second save of the season.
“I was happy that I was going to get out there and pitch in a situation like that,” Lopez said. “The way I pitch, saves aren’t going to come around very often. We’ve had a lot of tough losses, so to be able to go home makes the flight a lot easier.”
Maybe Pratt had visions of 1999 when he was with the Mets and his 10th-inning homer knocked the Diamondbacks out of the NL division series. Then again, maybe not—the Phillies are 0-21 when trailing after six innings.
“We just kept coming back at them,” manager Charlie Manuel said.
But Arizona built a nice cushion early to back Brandon Webb (7-2) and end his two-game losing streak.
The Diamondbacks scored five times in the first inning off Cory Lidle (5-4) and snapped a five-game losing streak—improving to 15-15 on the road. They finished 2-5 on the road trip and moved 3 1/2 games behind idle San Diego in the NL West.
After Craig Counsell reached on shortstop Jimmy Rollins’ two-base throwing error to open the game, Lidle gave up an RBI single to Alex Cintron and loaded the bases for Green, who ripped a triple down the line past diving first baseman Jim Thome for a 4-0 lead.
“It’s nice to have things turned around today,” Green said. “If definitely felt good to do that.”
Lidle worked only three innings and allowed seven runs and eight hits in losing for the first time since May 11.
“They hit some balls that had some eyes,” Lidle said.
Webb appeared fatigued from temperatures in the 90s. He removed his cap to wipe his brow and paced around the mound toward the end of his five-inning stint. Webb tired in his final frame and the Phillies took advantage, scoring three runs on Pat Burrell’s two-RBI double and Chase Utley’s sacrifice fly.
“The heat was pretty tough today for me,” Webb said.
Webb pitched out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the third, striking out Burrell looking.
Rollins and Kenny Lofton both went 3-for-5 for Philly.
The Phillies got out of last place in the NL East on Sunday for the first time since April 21, thanks to a disputed home run credited to Mike Lieberthal, but failed to move within a half-game of first-place Washington which had the day off Monday.
Philadelphia continues its 13-game homestand (6-1) on Tuesday against Texas. While there was plenty for even the most skeptical fan to get encouraged about during the recent winning streak, the Phillies have yet to get any serious production from Thome, still stuck in a season-long funk.
Thome went 1-for-4 with a walk, improving his average to .205. Manuel said he’s not ready to sit the 2003 NL home run champ.
“I haven’t thought about it yet,” Manuel said. “I’ve thought about getting him going. We need his production. We definitely need his power.”
Green’s second triple of the year snapped an 0-for-8 skid … Manuel said RHP Robinson Tejeda (0-0) will start on Wednesday against Texas. The Phillies needed an extra starter because of last Saturday’s doubleheader. … The Phillies dedicated a veterans memorial on the former site of Veterans Stadium. … Abreu has reached base in 28 straight games.