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Pence, Ruiz Lead Phils Past Marlins

Papelbon saves (pun intended) the Phillies again as he gets out of an 8th inning jam.

Manuel did not mince words when asked why he put in Jonathan Papelbon in the 8th inning with the bases loaded. He simply said, “I wanted to win”. Papelbon has not completed a five out save in almost 3 and a 1/2 years. Manuel was very reluctant in bringing in Papelbon in a very similar situation earlier in a season; he simply is not a fan of using his closers for more than an inning. However, after Contreras left the game with a serious elbow injury in the seventh inning and bullpen problems in the beginning of the 8th, Manuel decided to go for it and see what happens.

Papelbon got out of an 8th inning jam, striking out Hanley Ramirez on the inside corner. Entering the ninth inning, he struck out the two leadoff batters without a sweat. The third batter, Greg Dobbs, then came up and hit a line drive to deep center field. John Mayberry Jr., running back, twisted like a pretzel and threw his glove up at the last second to make the catch.

“He made an easy catch look hard,” Papelbon said after the game.

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen could not believe it. When asked if he thought Mayberry was going to make the catch, he replied, “In the beginning, no. In the middle, yes. At the end, what a lucky guy. Philadelphia’s night tonight. Balls bounced their way today. That kid made a heck of a play.”

Carlos Ruiz also chimed in offensively, going 3-4 , and leaving the ballpark leading the MLB with a batting average of .381.

Chooch went 3-4 in the game to improve his batting average to .381, which leads the majors.

Placido Polanco and Hunter Pence each had three hits. Pence hit a two-run home run to left field in the fifth inning to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead.

The Phillies will need to keep scoring runs, like they have been doing, if they hope to win with Halladay on the DL for 6-8 weeks. Contreras is likely out for a while as well.

Manuel will have to pick his spots carefully, knowing he needs to keep his closers as sharp as possible through the season.

Papelbon insisted he is ready for anything.

“For me, anytime Charlie calls on me to get into a game, I’m ready and willing and able”, Papelbon said after the game.

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Categories: Phillies

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