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Phillies erupt in the ninth to win, 5-4

Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth deliver big hits in a three-run inning to stun the Rockies and clinch the best-of-five series.

October 13, 2009|Mandy Housenick

DENVER — Cliff Lee couldn't help but eavesdrop.

"Get me to the plate, boys," the Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher heard first baseman Ryan Howard say when the ninth inning started.

When the top of the lineup ensured Howard of that, he delivered.

The cleanup man hit a two-out, two-run double to tie Monday's National League division series Game 4 with Colorado and Jayson Werth followed with what turned into the series-deciding run-scoring single in the Phillies' 5-4 victory at Coors Field.

The Phillies advanced to the NL Championship Series for the second consecutive season. They'll again face the Dodgers, whom they defeated in five games last year en route to a World Series title. Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday at Dodger Stadium.

The Phillies trailed by two runs when Jimmy Rollins got a one-out single in the ninth inning.

Rollins was forced out at second base on a grounder by Shane Victorino and Chase Utley walked to bring up Howard.

Howard hit a 2-and-1 fastball from closer Huston Street, who took the loss in Game 3, to tie the score, 4-4.

"I wanted the chance to bat in that situation," said Howard, who batted .428 in the series.

"He has a knack for knocking in runs and that shows he's focused," Manager Charlie Manuel said. "When you put somebody on base for him, it seems like he's able to concentrate better."

Werth then drove in Howard and the Phillies led, 5-4.

"Huston Street does a great job," Rollins said. "But a couple nights in a row he left some balls up in the zone and when he does that, he's hittable."

That wasn't the case for Phillies closer Brad Lidge. For the second night in a row, he recorded a save. And for the second night in a row, Troy Tulowitzki was one of his victims.

Left-hander Scott Eyre got two outs in the ninth inning but gave up two hits, and Manuel summoned Lidge from the bullpen.

After getting a 1-and-2 count on Tulowitzki, Lidge threw a slider that the shortstop swung at and missed to end the game.

Lee gave up three runs -- one earned -- in 7 1/3 innings. He left two runners on base when replaced by Ryan Madson, who retired Tulowitzki on a diving catch by left fielder Ben Francisco -- a defensive substitution -- but gave up a run-scoring single to pinch-hitter Jason Giambi and a two-run double to Yorvit Torrealba that put the Rockies ahead, 4-2.

But the Phillies weren't finished.

"Absolutely unreal," Manuel said. "Totally unbelievable."


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