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Phillies walk-off wins old hat by now

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies are getting used to this walk-off thing.

The Phillies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 in the ninth inning on Friday night for their third consecutive victory in their final at-bat.

"Three walk-offs in a row," Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. "Sometimes you don't see that in a months' time."

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Chase Utley -- batting with a full count and the fans on their feet -- walked to bring in the winning run.

"We're scoring some late runs," Utley said. "We've been holding the other team late in the game and that's keeping us in striking distance. That's what you need to do to be successful."

Arizona manager Kirk Gibson decided to bring in reliever Eury De La Rosa for the lefty-lefty matchup with Utley, a percentage move that didn't work out.

"We tried to wiggle out of it," Gibson said of the bases-loaded jam. "You're going with the matchup there. Utley's good, but (De La Rosa) didn't throw a strike -- the ball just missed."

De La Rosa misfired with a breaking pitch.

"We were just trying work both sides of the plate," Diamondbacks catcher Tuffy Gosewisch said. "Use his slider if we could and then throw some fastballs down in the zone to get a groundball or strikeout. Last pitch started right at Chase, and just didn't come back enough -- just barely missed on the inside corner."

Jonathan Papelbon picked up the win with a scoreless ninth. Heath Bell took the loss.

The Phillies' bullpen threw two more scoreless inning to set up their fourth walk-off victory in six games. During the past 10 games, Philadelphia relievers have posted a 1.91 ERA in 33 innings pitched.

"They have been putting up zeroes in seven through nine and the games have been somewhat tight and once again that allows the offense to do something," Sandberg said. "Also, with the way they are putting zeroes up, the defense is coming off the field and is talking about manufacturing a run or two. It puts it on the offense and sets a good tone."

The Phillies came back after trailing 3-1 in the sixth. The red-hot Carlos Ruiz -- who entered the game with 10 hits in his last 16 at-bats -- knotted the score with a two-run double.

Arizona starter Wade Miley and Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels were two of the hottest pitchers in the National League, with ERAs of 2.04 and 2.05, respectively, since July 1. Both pitched well enough to win, but both left with no-decisions.

Miley gave up three runs, five hits and two walks with two strikeouts in six innings. Even though Arizona lost in the game's final at-bat, Miley felt like he was the one to blame.

"That game's on me. I let it get away in the sixth inning," Miley said. "It should have been 3-1. We should have finished the game and won 3-1. It's on me."

Hamels worked seven innings and allowed three runs, six hits and one walk with four strikeouts.

"He's always good," Gibson said of Hamels. "Smart; commands all his pitches."

After winning just five games out of their previous 22, the Phillies (58-70) have won five of their last six. The Diamondbacks (65-62) have lost four of their last five after winning eight of their previous 11.

Darin Ruf opened the scoring in the second inning on a 1-0 pitch off Miley. Ruf smoked a solo homer to left-center field to stake the Phillies to a 1-0 lead.

The Philadelphia lead did not last long as Arizona answered in its half of the fourth.

Adam Eaton led off the inning and was hit by a pitch from Hamels. Hamels then induced Paul Goldschmidt to lift a routine fly ball to left field, but Domonic Brown never located the ball in the air and it fell for a double. Martin Prado made the Phillies pay with a two-run double to deep left-center field.

"We got a break when (Brown) lost it in the twilight," Gibson said. "We got to tack on and we weren't able to do so."

Matt Davidson delivered an RBI single to score Prado and put the Diamondbacks ahead, 3-1.

In the end, it was another Phillies walk-off that headlined Friday night.

"Any time you have a walk-off, it creates confidence and excitement and right now it's carrying over to the next day," Sandberg said. "It feels good and we'll continue to build on it."

NOTES: Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill doubled in the second inning. He has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games. ... Ruiz went 2-for-4 and has 12 hits in his last 20 at-bats (.600). ... Hamels allowed three runs or more for the first time since July 20. ... Phillies right-hander Tyler Cloyd is scheduled to start Sunday's game against the Diamondbacks. ... Prado is hitting .359 in the second half and .370 in his last 20 games. ... Diamondbacks righty Randall Delgado (4-4, 3.82) opposes Phillies righty Ethan Martin (2-2, 5.23) on Saturday night.
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