Ruiz's clutch hit gives Phils sweep of doubleheader


Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Posted: 10:40 p.m.Updated: June 16, 12:23 a.m.

By Jim Salisbury


Domonic Browns heart was willing, but his body just wouldnt let him do it, not after a marathon day at the ballpark.

He had just watched his teammate, Carlos Ruiz, drive a single up the middle to lift the Phillies to a 5-4 win over the Florida Marlins in 10 innings Wednesday night.

As jubilant Phillies players mobbed Ruiz, Brown thought about scurrying up to the clubhouse to whip up a celebratory shaving cream pie.

He quickly decided against it.

I was going to run in here and find some, but then I realized Id been here since 9:30 and I was a little tired, Brown said.

Thats 9:30 in the morning.

At least it was a productive day for Brown and his mates. They extended their season-high winning streak to six games and ran their majors-best record to 43-26 with a doubleheader sweep of the Marlins, a team that has fallen and cant get up. Florida has lost 14 of 15. In an 11-day span, the Marlins went from two games out of first place in the National League East to 10games out.

The Marlins were outscored 17-2 in the first two games of the series against the Phils, then lost in excruciating fashion in front of the largest regular-season crowd ever (45,880) at Citizens Bank Park in Wednesdays nightcap. From a Marlins perspective, it was the kind of loss a team suffers when things are going bad. From a Phillies perspective, it was the kind of win a team earns when things are going good.

And things most assuredly are going good for the Phils.

The Phillies had just five hits through eight innings and trailed 4-2 heading into the ninth. Florida closer Leo Nunez, who had previously nailed down 19 of 21 save chances, came into the game. Nunez allowed one-out singles to Ruiz and pinch-hitter Ross Gload before taking a liner off the leg from Jimmy Rollins, who was retired when the ball caromed to first base. Rollins liner moved the runners to second and third for Shane Victorino, who lined a 2-1 changeup up the middle to tie the game at 4-4.

Ryan Madson preserved the tie in the top of the 10th and the Phils opened the bottom of the inning with a baserunner as Marlins lefty Mike Dunn hit Ryan Howard with a pitch. Dunn then got two outs before Brown took two 95-mph fastballs to work an important full-count walk. Ruiz came up, looked at a 94-mph heater then stroked a 95-mph heater up the middle to score Howard and ignite a celebrationsans shaving creamon the field.

The Phillies rally took Roy Halladay off the hook for a loss. Halladay was in the training room icing his arm after a seven-inning performance when Ruiz got the big hit in the 10th.

To go from losing a game to coming back and winning like thattheres no better feeling, Halladay said.

The Phillies ace has tremendous affection for Ruiz and couldnt have been happier for him.

He does so much for our team behind the plate and often doesnt get a lot of credit for it, Halladay said. To have a game-changing moment and be the heroyou like to see that. Carlos deserves it. Everyone here loves him. Hes your favorite guy to root for.

Ruiz has a knack for walk-off hits. He had a big one against hard-throwing Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton last season.

He gets big hits because he can catch up to good fastballs, manager Charlie Manuel said. And late in the game youre going to see a lot of hard throwers. Carlos has a short, compact swing. He can lean on a fastball.

The Phillies finished the game with nine hits. Their offense is on a nice roll, led by Chase Utley, who is 11 for 31 with (.355) with eight extra-base hits over his last eight games. The top three hitters in the Phillies batting orderRollins, Victorino and Utleyscored a total of five runs in Wednesdays doubleheader sweep.

Offensively our guys are having good at-bats, getting hits and scoring runs, Halladay said. Confidence will come with that.

The busy Phillies are right back at work Thursday afternoon for the series finale against Florida.

The Phils are on their best roll of the season, looking to improve their winning streak to seven games.

The Marlins are another story.
E-mail Jim Salisbury at Follow him on Twitter @JSalisburyCSN.

Related: Sources: Worley will join Phils for trip to SeattleHot bats help Phils take doubleheader opener

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