for this game

Phils rally for 3 runs in 9th to top Astros

Apr 2, 2011 - 12:36 AM Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - John Mayberry Jr.'s hit over the head of Astros center fielder Michael Bourn in the ninth inning brought in the winning run, capping a three-run rally the Phillies used for a 5-4 victory over Houston in their season opener.

Philadelphia faced a 4-2 deficit entering its last at-bat, but put together a comeback against the Astros' Brandon Lyon (0-1). All of the Phillies' six hits in the inning were singles.

Run-scoring base hits by Ben Francisco and Wilson Valdez tied the game and helped set the stage for Mayberry, who plated Francisco to get the Phillies' season off to a good start.

"I saw momentum continue to build," said Mayberry, who added that his parents were in attendance. "Nobody wanted to make the last out. We're always alive until the 27th out is made."

They hadn't generated much offense in the first eight innings, perhaps a sign of struggles they will face without second baseman Chase Utley and outfielder Jayson Werth in the lineup.

Werth signed a big contract with the Washington Nationals in the offseason, while Utley is out with a knee injury.

But Philadelphia still has Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, who opened the final inning with consecutive hits. After Raul Ibanez popped out to second, Rollins stole third and Francisco -- Werth's replacement in right field -- roped a liner over shortstop Angel Sanchez to plate Rollins.

Carlos Ruiz followed and nearly had an extra-base hit down the left field line, but eventually ripped a single to fill the bases. Valdez also singled to left against the ineffective Lyon, and Mayberry stepped up next as a pinch- hitter for Danys Baez (1-0), who pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to get the win.

"Mayberry squared the last one up," said Astros manager Brad Mills. "Other than that, they didn't really square up a lot of balls. I'm still giving them credit for finding holes and getting hits, but at the same time, [Lyon] was keeping the ball off the barrel of the bat for the most part."

Roy Halladay, who won the National League Cy Young Award last season, made his 2011 debut for the Phillies. He dominated in the early innings, but elevated his pitch count with six strikeouts and was pulled after six innings, having thrown 101 pitches.

He gave up five hits, but didn't walk a batter and allowed only one run -- Bill Hall's RBI groundout in the sixth. The Astros had a big opportunity in the inning after putting runners on second and third with nobody out.

But Halladay got Carlos Lee to pop up before Hall's grounder made it a 1-0 game. The right-hander then retired Chris Johnson to get out of the jam.

Halladay's counterpart, Brett Myers, made his fourth Opening Day start at Citizens Bank Park. The former Phillie opened the 2007-09 seasons at the stadium, and was a picture of consistency in 2010, pitching at least six innings in all but one of his 33 starts.

He needed only 85 pitches to get through seven strong frames for the Astros on Friday, giving up two runs -- one earned -- on three hits and three walks.

But by the time he gave up his two runs Friday, Houston had built up a substantial lead.

Myers' sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning put runners on second and third with one out for Bourn, who ripped a triple to the gap in right-center field. Sanchez's sacrifice fly got Bourn home for a 4-0 lead.

However, the four-time defending NL East champions got two of those runs back in the bottom half.

After the Phillies' first two batters reached base, a passed ball moved them into scoring position. Howard lofted a sacrifice fly to deep center and Ibanez followed with a run-scoring groundout.

Game Notes

Myers added two of the Astros' nine hits...Houston went 76-86 last season, and won four of seven games against the Phillies...Philadelphia also won its 1974 season-opener in its last at-bat. The Phillies beat the Mets, 5-4, after Mike Schmidt hit a two-run homer in the ninth...Houston's Wandy Rodriguez and Philadelphia's Cliff Lee are set to start Saturday's game.