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Phillies rally past Diamondbacks, 4-2, in 10 innings

Of the 32,785 people who filed into Chase Field on Mother’s Day, there was one fan who’s voice carried the loudest with the convertible ballpark’s roof shut.

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)Read more

PHOENIX - Of the 32,785 people who filed into Chase Field on Mother's Day, there was one whose voice carried the loudest, with the convertible ballpark's roof closed.

He was seated somewhere along the first-base line and he continually heckled Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard yesterday afternoon.

"Swing . . . miss!"

"Big spot, game on the line, no pressure!"

"Eat fresh!"

If nothing else, the man was creative in co-opting Howard's favorite sandwich brand's catchphrase into his material.

Howard went hitless in his first four at-bats. He was hitless in 17 at-bats in the series with nine strikeouts before the 10th inning.

But for one at-bat, Howard quieted his heckler and delivered the Phillies a victory.

After Jimmy Rollins singled and Chase Utley doubled, putting two runners in scoring position with one out, Howard laced a two-run single to right off stingy Arizona lefthander Matt Reynolds in the 10th inning as the Phils pulled off a 4-2, come-from-behind win.

"You hear all that stuff," Howard said of his heckler. "I didn't hear him after I got that hit, though."

The Phillies finished a long, strange West Coast trip with back-to-back wins over Arizona. They started it with consecutive wins over San Francisco, which has been battling with the Diamondbacks for the top spot in the National League West.

After a pair of ugly losses to the Miami Marlins the weekend before at home (2-0 and 14-2), the Phils went 4-3 on the trip. All three defeats were by one run.

"I can't do anything about those games - they're gone," manager Charlie Manuel said. "They're dead and gone."

"I feel like it was a pretty productive road trip," said Utley, who had his first four-hit game of the season. "We played two pretty good teams in their ballparks. They were all good games, whether we won or lost, they were good baseball games. For the most part, I'm happy with how we played."

"Happy" would not be a word Howard would have chosen entering yesterday.

When he stepped to the plate in the 10th inning, Howard was hitless in his last 18 at-bats. Ten of those at-bats ended in strikeouts.

"I don't know if I could put it [into words]," Howard said. "Definitely frustrating. Upset. [Ticked] off. But I just tried to continue to try to separate each at-bat."

His final at-bat came against a guy who hadn't allowed a run in 19 games this year.

Reynolds had a 17 2/3-inning scoreless streak coming in. He had struck out nine of the 26 lefthanders he faced.

But after falling behind 2-1 to Howard, Reynolds put an 88 mph fastball on the outer half of the plate and the struggling cleanup hitter connected.

"He stayed in there, he hung in there," Manuel said of Howard. "That's part of being tough. Over the course of the year, that's how you get to be a good team, by staying after it. You never quit. You always play the game out. As long as you have a chance, you can take a swing and be a hero on that day. It's a good example of that."

Before their late-inning dramatics, the Phillies entered the ninth in danger of being shut out for the sixth time in the last 26 games. They trailed 2-0.

Arizona's Brandon McCarthy, who entered the game with a 6.75 ERA, held the Phils to seven singles in eight shutout innings. But Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson deemed McCarthy's day over after eight innings and 88 pitches.

Gibson opted for volatile closer Heath Bell, which turned out to be a nice parting gift to their visitors from Philadelphia.

"No, I wasn't surprised," said Manuel, never one to criticize another manager's in-game moves. "I'll let him manage his own team. I've done that before."

Bell faced six batters. He gave up four hits and two runs before being booed off the mound.

The Phils' rally off Bell saved Kyle Kendrick from being tagged with his second loss of the season despite pitching brilliantly for his seventh straight start.

Kendrick, who has a 1.84 ERA in his last seven starts, gave up two runs in the first inning but followed with six shutout frames of his own to keep the game within reach. But a two-run lead almost looked out of reach for the futile Phils offense.

The Phillies entered the day having scored two runs or fewer in five of their previous 11 games. They had scored six runs in the first three games of the four-game series in Arizona.

But Utley (4-for-5) doubled off Bell to begin the ninth. It was the Phils' first extra-base hit of the game.

After Howard grounded out, Delmon Young (2-for-5) also doubled off Bell to cut the Arizona lead in half. Domonic Brown (2-for-5) followed with a game-tying single.

The momentum carried over to the 10th, when Howard joined the comeback party and put an end to a forgettable 5-day funk.

"He has a knack for knocking in runs," Manuel said. "When he's going bad, it looks bad. But he can take one swing and it gets you back in the game."