PHOENIX (AP) The ball bounced in the dirt and away from Carlos Ruiz, a play the Philadelphia catcher could have easily given up on.
Instead, he pounced on the ball, threw to second and – with the help of a replay and a heads-up tag by Chase Utley – retired Martin Prado to help preserve the Phillies’ comeback victory.
Pinch hitter Cody Asche hit a two-run double in Philadelphia’s four-run eighth inning and Ruiz kept Arizona from getting a runner in scoring position with his hustle play in the ninth, leading the Phillies to a 6-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
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”It was a hustling play,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. ”He could have very easily put it in his pocket there, but he made it fairly close and ended up with a big play just with the hustle.”
The Phillies had to rally after ace Cliff Lee allowed five runs in the first three innings.
Philadelphia fought back by scoring two runs off Bronson Arroyo in the seventh and four more in the eighth against Joe Thatcher and Trevor Cahill (1-5).
Jeff Manship (1-0) allowed a hit and two walks in an inning for his first win since Sept 6, 2010, with Minnesota and Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his seventh save – with an assist from Ruiz and a replay.
The inning started with a single by Prado, who then was called safe on the close play at second. Sandberg checked the team’s internal replay and called for a challenge, arguing Utley had tagged Prado after he came off the bag on the slide.
Following a lengthy review by the umpires, Prado was called out. Papelbon then struck out Paul Goldschmidt looking, and Miguel Montero grounded out to end it.
Ruiz also had three of Philadelphia’s 13 hits and drove in a run. The Phillies have won five of seven.
”We were down by five heading into the seventh inning and to pull that off was definitely big,” Lee said.
Arizona had bounced back from a difficult start to the season behind its starting pitching and got a decent outing from Bronson Arroyo, who extended the rotation’s scoreless innings streak to 18 2-3 innings by pitching into the seventh.
But Arroyo gave up two runs in the seventh and the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead after he left, leading to the Diamondbacks’ ninth loss in 10 home games.
Cody Ross had three RBIs and two hits for Arizona, which had three errors, including a dropped popup by Prado at third to start the eighth inning.
”We should have had enough pitching to get through that game,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. ”We just didn’t play well.”
Lee had been superb against Arizona in six previous starts, going 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 43 innings. The left-hander has been dialed into the strike zone against everyone so far this season, entering Saturday night’s start with 38 strikeouts and two walks.
Lee’s control wasn’t quite the same against the Diamondbacks.
Arizona scored two runs off Lee in the first, including an RBI single by Ross that ended a 1-for-22 slump since returning from the disabled list with a dislocated hip. A.J. Pollock added a run-scoring triple in the second inning and Ross made it 5-0 in the third with a two-run single to left.
Lee allowed three earned runs and eight hits in six innings. He also walked two to double his season total.
”They were getting hits. I was missing on the plate a little bit, but they got their fair share of hits on decent pitches, too. Those things happen,” Lee said. ”I just feel good about keeping it where it was at after the third and continuing to put up a few zeroes there to give us a chance and definitely did that in the last three innings.”
Arroyo did his part, allowing two runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, but Arizona’s bullpen let it slip away.
Thatcher allowed two runs before being lifted and Cahill labored for the first time since moving to the bullpen. Asche’s big double hit first base umpire Bob Davidson before caroming toward the stands, and Ben Revere followed with a run-scoring single that made it 6-5.
”It is embarrassing,” Cahill said. ”Bronson threw a great game. I should be able to come in and get three outs without letting them take the lead back especially with a three-run lead.”
NOTES: Phillies 3B Freddy Galvis is hitless in 21 at-bats after going 0 for 4. … RHP A.J. Burnett, Philadelphia’s starter in Sunday’s series finale, has yet to win this season in five starts despite a 2.73 ERA. … RHP Brandon McCarthy, Arizona’s starter on Sunday, tossed eight scoreless innings against the Phillies last season, but did not figure in the decision.