Phils fall again in ninth inning

August 13, 2008 10:45:22 PM PDT
Nomar Garciaparra hit a one-out homer in the bottom of the ninth Wednesday night, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Garciaparra lined a 2-1 pitch from Clay Condrey (3-3) just over the fence in left field for his sixth homer and first since July 26. Garciaparra was playing his second game since coming off the disabled list. He has been on the DL three times this season, missing a total of 90 games.

By winning their third straight over Philadelphia and fifth in seven games overall, the Dodgers moved into a first-place tie with Arizona in the NL West. The Phillies, who have lost five of seven, dropped into a first-place tie with the New York Mets in the East.

Manny Ramirez and Andre Ethier also homered for the Dodgers. Ramirez is 21-for-45 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 12 games since being acquired July 31 from the Boston Red Sox.

Jonathan Broxton (3-3) pitched a perfect ninth to earn the victory. Dodgers relievers held the Phillies to one hit and no runs over the final six innings.

The Dodgers, who trailed 6-1 after 1½ innings, tied the game 6-all in the eighth on Jeff Kent's two-out, two-run double off Chad Durbin. Kent had a season-high four hits and is 13-for-26 in seven games since being moved to the No. 3 spot in the Los Angeles batting order.

Brad Penny, making his second start after spending eight weeks on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis, allowed four runs in the first after retiring the first two batters. Chase Utley was hit by a pitch before Ryan Howard hit an 0-1 pitch halfway up the left-center field pavilion for his big league-leading 33rd homer. Pat Burrell then drew a walk, and Greg Dobbs followed with his fifth homer.

The Dodgers made it 4-1 in the bottom of half when James Loney drew a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded to force in a run. Joe Blanton avoided further damage by striking out Casey Blake and retiring Garciaparra on a fly to right.

The Phillies got another two-out, two-run homer in the second, this one by former Dodger Jayson Werth, who hit his 16th on a full-count pitch to make it 6-1.

Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the third, and Ethier added a solo shot in the fourth to trim Philadelphia's lead to 6-4.

Penny was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the inning after allowing six runs and six hits in three innings - his shortest outing since Sept. 28, 2006.

Blanton gave up nine hits and four runs in five innings while walking three and striking out six. He had allowed five hits and one run in 14 innings during his previous two starts.

Notes: Ramirez has 14 hits in 23 lifetime at-bats against Blanton. ... Phillies OF Shane Victorino didn't play because of lower back stiffness, but said he hoped to be back in the lineup Thursday night. He came out of Tuesday night's game after six innings. ... Dodgers manager Joe Torre said he wasn't sure when Ramirez would get a haircut, but expects it sometime during a 10-game homestand that ends next Thursday. "That's what he told me," Torre said. "If he doesn't, I'll ask him again. I'm going to get booed out of town anyway." ... Howard extended his consecutive games-played streak to 235 - the longest current such streak in the majors. He has 74 homers and 215 RBIs during the streak. ... Dodgers C Russell Martin, batting eighth for the first time this season, had three hits including a leadoff single in the eighth. He had one hit in 16 at-bats in his previous six games.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)