With their full team finally together, the Philadelphia Phillies are slowly starting to look like the ballclub that has won five straight NL East titles.
Ty Wigginton hit a sacrifice fly to cap a four-run rally in the ninth inning against Francisco Rodriguez and lift the Phillies to a 7-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
The last-place Phillies were 0-42 when trailing after eight innings before coming back against Rodriguez, who replaced John Axford as the closer last week.
On Sunday, the Phillies beat San Francisco on Jimmy Rollins’ RBI hit in the 12th inning.
"It’s huge. We have to build on that momentum," Ryan Howard said. "We need to take that energy and spread it over nine innings."
With one out against K-Rod, Rollins walked, Juan Pierre singled and Chase Utley walked to load the bases. Howard ripped an 0-2 pitch up the middle to drive in a pair and cut it to 6-5. Carlos Ruiz followed with a line-drive hit to left-center to tie it at 6. Hunter Pence walked to load the bases again.
Eric Kratz entered to run for Howard. Wigginton followed with a liner to left and Kratz scored easily ahead of Ryan Braun’s off-target throw.
"It’s good to see we can rally," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Rodriguez (2-5) has blown five saves in eight tries.
"I didn’t get it done," Rodriguez said. "It’s really painful."
Carlos Gomez hit a three-run homer and the Brewers battered two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay
Halladay allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings in his second start since returning from a nearly two-month stint on the disabled list.
"I feel good," Halladay said. "The results aren’t what I want. The execution isn’t what I want. I definitely have some work to do but I feel 100 times better."
Joe Savery (1-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win. It was the first time in 18 tries that the Phillies won a game Savery appeared in.
Brewers starter Randy Wolf gave up two runs and five hits in six innings against his former team. The lefty won 16 games and was an All-Star with Philadelphia in 2003.
Utley and Howard hit consecutive homers for the last-place Phillies in the first inning.
The Phillies didn’t have Utley and Howard, their Nos. 3-4 hitters, most of the first half. Utley missed 76 games and Howard 84.
"That’s a big part of our offense," Manuel said.
Wolf, who once hit two homers in a game for the Phillies in 2004, helped himself with his bat in the fourth. He hit a two-out single up the middle. After Norichika Aoki singled, Gomez launched a towering drive that smacked high off the left-field foul pole to put Milwaukee up 6-2.
Braun’s RBI single in the third put the Brewers ahead 3-2. Gomez singled, stole second and scored on the hit.
The Phillies quickly erased a 2-0 deficit in the first when Utley and Howard went deep. After Shane Victorino struck out trying to check his swing on a pitch that appeared to hit him, Utley connected.
Howard followed with a drive that landed in the flower bed just over the left-field fence. The ball bounced back onto the field and Howard stopped at second base. He was credited with a homer after the umpires saw on a video review the ball cleared the wall.
Victorino left the game with a bruised right elbow the following inning.
The Brewers jumped ahead 2-0 in the first on a RBI double by Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart’s run-scoring single. Halladay could’ve escaped without allowing any runs, but right fielder Hunter Pence turned the wrong way on the two-out drive by Ramirez and the ball landed at the base of the fence.
Notes: Left field ballgirl Genevieve Haney made the defensive play of the night in the seventh when she snared a hard liner hit by Gomez. Fans cheered her louder than Utley and Howard after their homers. … The Phillies have hit back-to-back homers four times this season. Utley has been involved three times and he missed the first 76 games. … Howard was 2-for-17 off Wolf before hitting a homer and double in his first two at-bats. … Braun is 6-for-13 off Halladay. … The Phillies had their 268th consecutive sellout, including postseason. … Phillies 3B Placido Polanco sat out with a stiff back. … Gomez had two stolen bases before getting thrown out trying to swipe second in the seventh. … Wolf and the Brewers beat Halladay 9-0 in Philadelphia last April 19. … Zack Greinke (9-3, 3.57) starts for the Brewers on Tuesday night after being skipped his last turn because of fatigue. Cliff Lee (1-6, 3.72) goes for the Phillies. Lee tries for just his second win in 17 starts.