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Carlos Ruiz has emotional return to Philadelphia

“I’m really happy to come back here and enjoy the ovation from the fans,” the former Phillies catcher said.

Carlos Ruiz looked around almost sheepishly after delivering a three-run double on Wednesday afternoon that practically sealed the Phillies' 11-6 loss to Seattle.

The Citizens Bank Park fans were cheering - Chooch-ing, actually - as the former Phillies catcher stood on second base. He was a visiting player being celebrated for knocking off the home team. Ruiz felt a bit strange.

"That was really emotional. I'm really happy to come back here and enjoy the ovation from the fans," Ruiz said. "That's something that you're always going to remember. We don't see that too often. Just want to say thank you to everybody for the ovation and the support. They were so good to me throughout my career. I was so happy."

Ruiz was feted in the two-day series much like Chase Utley was last season when he returned with the Dodgers. The fans greeted each of Ruiz' at-bats with standing ovations. The sound system blared his old walk-up song - "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins - before he reached home plate. And Ruiz tipped his navy Mariners helmet, hoping that would quiet the fans and allow play to resume.

Ruiz finished Wednesday 1 for 4 with four RBIs. He added a sacrifice fly in the eighth. His three-run double was just his second extra-base hit of the season. Ruiz is batting .129 this season and has started just 11 of Seattle's 34 games. He needed that hit as much as he needed the ovation.

"That was good for myself because I've been struggling swinging the bat," Ruiz said. "That was a big double right there. And the ovation from the fans was really nice. That's why I said thank you. I was so happy with the ovation."

Ruiz arrived in Philadelphia on Monday and hosted some of his former teammates for dinner. He spent Tuesday saying hello to old friends, people he never had a chance to bid farewell to last season when he was traded and the Phillies were on the road. Wednesday was his chance to start, and Ruiz crouched behind the plate at which he caught the final out of the World Series.

He was not sure how his return to Philadelphia would be. But he expected it to be special. Ruiz was right.

"For me that was hard. Now I'm on the other side, and it feels weird when I come to the ballpark," Ruiz said. "But at the same time, it's a business. You have to go out there and do your best and help the team win. I was really excited and happy."

Extra bases

Zach Eflin's streak without a walk ended at 29 innings, the longest for a Phillies pitcher since Cliff Lee went 31 straight innings without issuing a walk from September 2013 to March 2014. Eflin's streak was the longest for any pitcher in baseball this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. . . . Tommy Joseph is 11 for 28 with four doubles and three home runs in nine games this month. . . . The Phillies will spend their off day Thursday raising money for ALS research during the team's annual festival at Citizens Bank Park. Tickets are available at phillies.com/philliesphestival or by calling 215-463-1000.

mbreen@phillynews.com

@matt_breen