video thumbnail

CWS@PHI: Ruf drills a solo homer to center field

PHILADELPHIA -- This is one of those losses that could haunt the Phillies come the July 31 Trade Deadline.

They had the winning run on third base with less than two outs in the ninth and 10th innings Saturday evening in the opener of a day-night doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park, but could not score in a 5-4 loss in 11 innings to the White Sox.

The Phillies, who scored a run in the 11th on Humberto Quintero's RBI single to cut the deficit to one, had a chance to move to .500 for the first time since they were 31-31 on June 7 in Milwaukee, but instead fell to 46-48. They are 3-10 this season when they have had a chance to move to .500.

Philadelphia needs to win the remaining two games of the series to enter the break .500.

"I don't have to tell you about how many chances we had," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We had some golden chances and all we had to do is hit the ball. Couldn't do it. The game was sitting right there for us, two or three times."

Chicago scored the winning run in the 11th against Phillies right-hander J.C. Ramirez, who retired the first two batters he faced in the inning. But then he allowed a triple to left-center field to Alejandro De Aza, who scored on Alexi Ramirez's double to right-center field.

Ramirez scored on Jimmy Rollins' ninth error to make it a two-run lead.

The loss followed a 41-minute rain delay in the middle of the ninth.

The afternoon started promisingly.

The Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the first when Michael Young ripped a one-out double to put runners on second and third. Domonic Brown followed with a fielder's choice to score Rollins from third to make it 1-0. Delmon Young then ripped a ball off the left-field wall to drive in Michael Young and make it 2-0.

The Phillies had opportunities to score in the third and fourth, but came up empty. They had runners on first and second with one out in the third, and wasted a leadoff double from Delmon Young in the fourth.

Philadelphia right-hander Jonathan Pettibone allowed six hits, three runs, four walks and struck out six in six innings. He allowed two runs in the fifth to tie the game and allowed a run in the sixth to give the White Sox a one-run lead. The go-ahead run scored when he put runners on second and third with no outs.

Unlike the Phillies, the White Sox took advantage.

"Second and third, nobody out, is not going to set up for anything good," Pettibone said. "That's where I ran into trouble. Second and third, nobody out. The chances are very high for them."

Darin Ruf tied it in the seventh when he hit a 2-2 changeup over the fence in center field for a solo home run. It was Ruf's second home run since his promotion to the big leagues July 6, when the Phillies lost Ryan Howard six to eight weeks because of left knee surgery. Ruf has reached base safely in 16 consecutive games, dating to last season.

White Sox right-hander Nate Jones allowed hits to Kevin Frandsen and Ruf to start the ninth, then balked them to second and third with no outs. But Carlos Ruiz flied out to shallow left field, Laynce Nix struck out swinging for the second out and Ben Revere lined out to right to end the inning.

Michael Young worked a one-out walk in the 10th. Brown then hit a ground ball to the right of White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn, but he missed the ball to allow Young to reach third. But Delmon Young struck out swinging for the second out and Frandsen grounded out to end the inning.

Asked why hitters like Nix and Delmon Young did not try to shorten their swings in that situation to put the ball in play, Manuel said, "They're different kind of hitters in that [situation]. They swing. They take a whack at the ball. They don't work on choking and poking. ... They don't cut their swing down. They take a swing at the ball. Basically that's what they've been doing their whole career. Ted Williams choked up. If it was good enough for Ted, it was good enough for a lot of guys."

The Phillies entered the game with 165 plate appearances this season with a runner on third and less than two outs. They knocked in that runner 84 times (51 percent). The big league average is 50 percent, but the Phillies picked an inopportune time to come up empty five times in a row.

They were 2-for-13 overall with runners in scoring position.

"Things were going our way, but we didn't have the finishing touch," Manuel said. "They were definitely going our way. A guy balks. We hit a ball by Dunn. We had some big things going for us. We couldn't put the finishing touch on it."

MLB.com Comments