Phillies rally for four in ninth to beat Dodgers

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—The biggest challenge for Carlos Ruiz(notes) was escaping a Philadelphia Phillies barrage.

His game-winning, two-run double in the ninth inning capped a frantic rally from seven runs down and topple the Los Angeles Dodgers, 10-9, on Thursday night.

Once the winning run scored, the catcher zig-zagged between second and first base, trying to avoid the onrush of teammates.

“I was trying to make everybody miss,” Ruiz said. “They got me.”

Before that, Ruiz got Jonathan Broxton(notes), who blew his fifth save of the season and has been miserable against Philadelphia, dating back to a blown save in Game 4 of the 2008 National League Championship Series.

Since that game, when Matt Stairs(notes) hit an eighth-inning home run, Broxton is 2-2 with a 9.82 ERA, one save and three blown opportunities against the Phillies.

The hard-throwing right-hander began the inning by hitting Placido Polanco(notes) and walking Mike Sweeney(notes) and Jayson Werth(notes). Ben Francisco(notes), the next hitter, hit what looked like a double-play grounder to Casey Blake(notes), but it went through the third baseman’s legs for a crucial error.

“If I don’t walk the guys (the error) doesn’t matter,” said Broxton (4-4), who has allowed 11 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings over 15 career appearances against Philadelphia. “Guys play on their heels when the pitcher’s not throwing strikes.”

With nobody out in a potential sacrifice situation, manager Charlie Manuel let Ruiz swing, and the catcher smacked a 88-mph slider to deep left.

“I always like that moment,” Ruiz said. “He gave me the confidence to get a big hit right here in a bunt situation. I was looking for a pitch to hit and got a slider down the middle.”

Added Francisco: “He’s probably the best clutch hitter we have. I don’t think there’s anybody else on our team that you want up there late in the game like that.”

Philadelphia’s comeback actually began with a four-run eighth inning off relievers Ronald Belisario(notes), Kenley Jansen(notes) and George Sherrill(notes), which included a two-run single by Werth and a RBI double by Francisco.

“We got it close (in the eighth) and went from there,” Francisco said. “Then we got the first two guys on there and were right back in it.”

It reached a crescendo against Broxton.

“The last two innings seemed like a week and a half,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

Danys Baez(notes) (3-3) pitched a scoreless inning for the win, and the Phillies pulled to within two games of the idle Atlanta Braves.

Los Angeles seemed to be cruising after piling on five runs over the seventh and eighth innings, with Matt Kemp(notes) leading the way with a home run among his three hits. He drove in four runs to lead Los Angeles’ 15-hit attack. Scott Podsednik(notes), Andre Ethier(notes) and Jamey Carroll(notes) had two hits apiece for the Dodgers.

But the bullpen kept Clayton Kershaw(notes) winless in five attempts against Philadelphia. The 22-year-old held the Phillies to two runs in 6 2-3 innings.

Then came the ninth inning.

Broxton is 0-2 in his last five appearances while relieving Kershaw. He has given up 11 runs in 3 1-3 innings according to STATS LLC.

After Kemp went 0-for-10 in a three-game series in Washington, punctuated by a four- strikeout performance Aug. 8, Dodgers manager Joe Torre limited him to a pair of pinch- hitting appearances on Tuesday and Wednesday. The time off helped.

Kemp followed Ronnie Belliard’s(notes) RBI single with another run-scoring hit, as Los Angeles built a 3-0 lead off Joe Blanton(notes). Philadelphia pulled within a run on Ruiz’s single in the fourth, but the Dodgers added a run in the top of the fifth, two in the seventh and three in the eighth.

Blanton followed his best effort of the season, in which he allowed two runs in seven innings to the Mets—with a more common rocky outing. The right-hander surrendered four runs on eight hits and four walks.

Thanks to an spirited offense, he didn’t have to suffer a loss.

“I’ve seen us do that before,” Blanton said. “It was good to see that again.”

NOTES: Ibanez went 0-for-5, snapping his 18-game hitting steak. … Polanco’s single in the first inning to extend his streak to 10 games. … Shane Victorino(notes), activated from the disabled list earlier Thursday afternoon, walked and stole second in a seventh-inning, pinch-hitting appearance.

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