for this game

Phillies blast their way to sweep of Marlins

Sep 24, 2006 - 10:44 PM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia Phillies spotted the Florida Marlins a four-run lead, but it wasn't anything their offense couldn't overcome.

The Phillies blasted five home runs, including a pair by second baseman Chase Utley, to erase the early deficit and post a 10-7 victory over the Marlins, completing a sweep of their three-game set.

Philadelphia has won five straight games and remained one-half game ahead of Los Angeles in the National League wild card race. The Phillies (82-73) have not been to the postseason since 1993 and finished one game behind the Houston Astros for the NL's final playoff berth a season ago.

Los Angeles posted a 5-1 victory over Arizona on a game-winning grand slam by Nomar Garciaparra.

"I'd like to have a two-game lead with one to play, that'd be pretty good," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I don't think I'd have to stay up and watch games on the West Coast."

The Phillies sent veteran Jamie Moyer to the hill and he was rudely welcomed by the Marlins. Hanley Ramirez hit his second pitch for a home run, Wes Helms had an RBI double and Cody Ross added a two-run homer to give Florida a 4-0 lead.

"It's tough to put our club behind in the first inning like that, but it was early," Moyer said. "After the first inning, you have to learn how to put it behind you and go out and more or less say it's nothing-nothing. We still had nine chances (to score) after the first inning."

It stayed that way until the third when the Phillies erupted for seven runs. Jimmy Rollins and Utley launched two-run homers and rookie Chris Coste capped the outburst with a three-run homer to left.

"I felt like doing cartwheels around the bases," Coste said. "It felt pretty good. It was the last thing I was expecting. I was just trying not to strike out, really."

Ramirez committed a costly error that kept the inning alive for Coste, who battled through a nine-pitch at-bat before hitting a 3-2 pitch into the left field seats for his seventh home run.

"Coste got the big three-run homer," Manuel said. "Put a seven-spot on them and that definitely kind of turned the game around. For us to score seven runs on them was huge. That's a sign of people wanting it."

"It was a good inning," Rollins said. "We took the lead and never looked back. Every day we go out there, we believe we can win."

All three of Philadelphia's home runs in the third came off Marlins starter Scott Olsen (12-9). The rookie lefthander allowed seven runs - three earned - and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings.

"I just got behind in the count a lot," Olsen said. "It's not fun."

After Coste's homer, Olsen hit Abraham Nunez with a pitch and was promptly ejected by home plate umpire Mark Wegner. Olsen denied throwing at Nunez.

"No, they were hitting the ball," Olsen said. "You've got to go inside and move them off the plate a little."

Utley homered in the sixth for his seventh multi-homer game of the season and 12th of his career. Pat Burrell, who started his at-bat in the seventh before a 95-minute rain delay, finished it when play resumed with a home run.

"We knew we were going to score some runs," Utley said. "Guys were getting on base and we had a few big hits. The more guys that are swinging the bats well, the more runs we're going to score."

Utley finished with three hits and has 12 career home runs against the Marlins.

"You watch him hit, you see all the correct things he does," Florida manager Joe Girardi said. "He's a great hitter."

Moyer (4-2) settled down after the opening frame and picked up the win. He allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings.

"I just tried to make better pitches down in the zone, get ahead in the count," Moyer said.

With one more loss or one more win by Philadelphia, Florida (76-80) will be eliminated from the postseason race.

Helms added a home run and Mike Jacobs hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Marlins, who had four homers in the game.

It was the second time this season that the Phillies hit five home runs in a game.

"They hit the ball out of the park and they're a dangerous club right now," Girardi said.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!