Phils win with seven-run ninth

Victorino is greeted at the plate by teammates after his ninth-inning grand slam. (AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan)

Victorino is greeted at the plate by teammates after his ninth-inning grand slam. (AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan)

MIAMI–  It seemed like it would be yet another night where the Phils would disappoint, and again, struggle offensively.  Brett Myers gave up three first-inning runs, on a homer by Dan Uggla and the offense remained silent through eight.

But, in the ninth, in front of 29,032 fans and 1, 540 dogs at the Marlins’ annual “Bark in the Park Night,” the Phils battled all the way back, scoring seven times in the inning on two out, back-to-back home runs by Shane Victorino, a grand-slam putting the Phillies ahead, and Chase Utley, a solo-shot for the seventh run of the inning.

The salami was officially the first of Victorino’s career, but Phillies fans remember the one when it counted most, off C.C. Sabathia in game two of the NLCS.

“Both of them won games,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told reporters. “He hit one right-handed and one left-handed. It doesn’t matter which one he hit the best. They all got the same result. It’s not how far, it’s how many.”

The hitting outburst punctured a string of continued struggles at the plate for the Phillies offense, hopefully putting them back onto the right track.

“We know we can hit, and we’re going to hit,” Manuel said. “Innings like tonight, that’s a big boost when we haven’t done anything and we put a seven-spot in the ninth. That’s good. We definitely needed that kind of inning.”

Brett Myers also offered a decent effort, settling in to allow just three hits and two walks in the next five innings he pitched, after giving up the homer to Uggla.

“Myers stayed in there,” Manuel said. “He made pitches when he had to. But you know what was good about Myers? We got him to [119] pitches. He was in trouble and he kept wiggling out of it. We’ve been using our bullpen this week really hard. He kept us at 3-0.”

The Phillies win wasn’t typical, but at this point, after a slow start in April, they’ll take wins however they come.

What’s Next?

The Phils continue their three game series in Miami tonight, when Chan Ho Park takes the hill, against Chris Volstad.  The Phillies will look to climb back up to the .500 mark with a win tonight.  More later…

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