Howard gets key hit in Phillies 10-inning win

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Ryan Howard rated his frustration level Sunday somewhere between upset and PO'd, but it was nothing that a game-winning hit could not salve, at least temporarily.
"You just keep hitting them, and at some point they will find some ground. Stop thinking. Just see it and hit it," former NL MVP Howard said.
Howard's two-run single in the top of the 10th inning broke his 0-for-18 drought and gave Philadelphia a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, helping the Phillies (18-21) split the four-game series.
Jimmy Rollins singled with one out off Matt Reynolds (0-1) in the 10th and took third on Chase Utley's double, one of his four hits.
That left it up to Howard, who was 0-for-17 with nine strikeouts in this series before dropping a base hit to right field to drive in both runners.
"You just continue to try to separate each at-bat, and I was finally able to get one to fall. You try to start anew. Just keep swinging," Howard said.
"When he's going bad, it looks bad. But he can take one swing and it gets you back in the game. He is the RBI guy," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said.
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said he did not consider walking Howard.
"We struck Howard out a ton in this series. We held him down. So he finally got us, but we left the ball out over the plate," Gibson said.
Reynolds had not given up a run in his first 19 innings this year, tying a franchise record to open a season.
"It was bound to happen at some point. Obviously disappointing. Cost us a game," Reynolds said, adding of his pitch to Howard, "It was down good, but it leaked out over the plate."
The Phillies had tied the game with two runs in the ninth inning after Heath Bell replaced Brandon McCarthy, who threw eighth shutout innings while looking for his first victory since Aug. 30, 2012.
Utley doubled to open the ninth off Bell and scored on Delmon Young's one-out double. Domonic Brown singled to center to tie the game one batter later.
The D-backs (21-17) have a major-league-high 11 failed save conversions this season. Bell has two.
"It didn't work out. We know now it didn't work out," Gibson said of removing McCarthy. "I'm not going to get specific, but I did what I thought was the right move. Even if I had left him in, we don't know how it would have worked out. You make decisions and sometimes they don't work out. That was my decision."
Freddy Galvis had three of the Phillies' 15 hits, eight of which came in the last two innings.
Justin De Fratus (1-0) struck out the only batter he faced in the last of the ninth, and Jonathan Papelbon pitched the 10th to get his seventh save, his second in as many days.
Gerardo Parra had two of the D-backs' seven hits, and he led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run off Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick. It was Parra's third homer of the season and second career leadoff home run, the first coming in a 10-9, 16-inning victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on April 3.
Didi Gregorius, who had two hits, followed Parra's homer with a triple, and A.J. Pollock's two-out single made it 2-0 in the first.
McCarthy gave up seven hits, all singles, in eight shutout innings before being replaced after throwing 87 pitches. He did not get to a three-ball count on any of the 29 batters he faced.
"I settled in early and got into a good rhythm," McCarthy said.
About his removal, he said, "They came and said you are done, and that was kind of it."
McCarthy has not won since being struck in the head by a line drive on Sept. 5, 2012. He threw eight innings for the first time since his final appearance of 2011. He entered the game having given up a NL-high 62 hits in 40 innings. His ERA dropped to 5.63.
NOTES: D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning after missing his first start of the season. Eric Hinske started at first base, his first start of the season. Goldschmidt had missed a total of four innings in the first 37 games. ... Rollins and Utley started together for the 992nd time Sunday, the second-most starts among active middle infield combinations. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and second baseman Robinson Cano have started 1,036 games together. Rollins and Utley could pass them in July if Jeter remains sidelined due to an injury. ... D-backs left fielder Jason Kubel made his eighth start since returning from the disabled list on April 28, and all have come against right-handed pitchers. He went 1-for-3.

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