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Philadelphia at Pittsburgh

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Philadelphia (42-38)013000100591
Pittsburgh (30-52) «20000060x891

Pirates stage rally to hand Phillies another loss

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- A weekend after they were the visiting team in their home ballpark, the Phillies brought so many fans to Pittsburgh that it almost seemed like they were the home team in a visiting ballpark.

Not that it helped.

Garrett Jones and Delwyn Young drove in two runs each during Pittsburgh's comeback six-run seventh inning, and the last-place Pirates beat the sliding Phillies for the third time in four games, 8-5 on Sunday.

Pirates rookie Pedro Alvarez started the rally with his second homer in as many games and drove in two runs, while Jones had three RBI as the Pirates won their fourth in five games. They are 5-2 since losing 18 of 20.

"Coming from behind from a three-run deficit, it shows our resilience," Alvarez said of the Pirates, who are 22 games below .500. "A lot of time what happens is we don't get a break [in those situations], but we've got to keep going and keep playing the way we are."

The defending NL champion Phillies couldn't hold a 5-2 lead in losing their fourth in five games and fifth in seven games. Now, they head into an important homestand in which they play NL East-leading Atlanta three times and NL Central-leading Cincinnati four times. And they'll play it without seven injured players, including All-Star second baseman Chase Utley.

A week from now, the two-time defending NL champions might regard it as the homestand in which they re-established themselves as a prime contender -- or, conversely, as the one in which their season got away from them.

"Any series we play against the Braves is bigger and any series we play right now is big, whether it's a first-division team or a second-division team," manager Charlie Manuel said. "You start losing some games, it becomes more important."

Especially losing them this way.

"A three-run lead in the seventh, most likely you win those games," Manuel said.

Normally, nothing's more certain than a Phillies victory on Independence Day -- fittingly enough for the team from the city of independence -- but they lost on the nation's birthday for the first time in seven years. They hadn't lost a July 4 road game since 1995 in Pittsburgh.

They looked to have this one secured with Joe Blanton holding the Pirates hitless following a two-run first inning, but Alvarez drove a curveball into the right-field seats for his fourth hit in two games leading off the seventh.

The game began unraveling for the Phillies from there as Ryan Doumit singled and Ryan Church doubled against Blanton, and pinch-hitter Young tied it at 5 with a two-run double to left field off Jose Contreras (3-3).

"That's pretty much the inning, that's pretty much the game," Blanton said.

Pirates rookie Jose Tabata, who doubled and scored during the first, followed with a run-scoring single and Neil Walker walked to set up Jones' two-run single, his fifth hit in 34 at-bats. Tabata, Walker and Alvarez, the Pirates' recently recalled rookie starters, all had hits during a two-run first inning, too.

"Every day is a learning opportunity for us," Alvarez said. "Every situation, every opportunity, you've got to try to treat it like it's do or die. So when you get in a situation like today, it seems more normal, more routine."

Evan Meek (4-2), a former Rule 5 pick selected earlier in the day as the Pirates' lone All-Star representative, won it by retiring the Phillies in the seventh following Dane Sardinha's homer off Jeff Karstens. Octavio Dotel secured it in the ninth with his 19th save in 22 tries.

"I made the All-Star team. I got the win," Meek said. "Maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket."

The Phillies, finishing off an unproductive 2-5 road trip to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, lost despite being supported by thousands of fans who occasionally drowned out the Pirates' own rooters in the holiday crowd of 28,698. A week before, they took two of three from Toronto in a series that was moved to Philadelphia because of the G-20 summit.

"Even if they're in our ballpark, having a lot of people in the ballpark makes it more fun to play," Karstens said.

The Phillies built their lead behind a three-run third against Karstens that Blanton started with a single. Shane Victorino, who had three hits Saturday in a 12-4 Phillies romp, doubled ahead of Raul Ibanez's RBI single, All-Star Ryan Howard's sacrifice fly and Greg Dobbs' double.

Notes

  • Meek is the first Pirates reliever who wasn't a closer chosen for the All-Star game since Mace Brown in 1938, before the closer's role emerged.
  • Blanton gave up five runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. He lasted 7 2/3 innings in each of his previous two starts.
  • Pittsburgh won the season series 4-2.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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A good day: Evan Meek is selected to play in the All-Star Game and then earns the win for the Pirates.   (AP)
A good day: Evan Meek is selected to play in the All-Star Game and then earns the win for the Pirates. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

P. Alvarez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Philadelphia

D. Sardinha
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS4000001 .270
Shane Victorino, CF4110001 .255
Raul Ibanez, LF4121010 .241
Ryan Howard, 1B3001011 .293
Ben Francisco, RF4120000 .250
Greg Dobbs, 3B4011011 .167
Wilson Valdez, 2B3001002 .264
   a- Ross Gload, PH1000000 .242
Dane Sardinha, C4121010 .267
Joe Blanton, P3110001 .200
    Jose Contreras, P0000000 .000
    Mike Zagurski, P0000000 .000
    Danys Baez, P0000000 .000
Totals3459504  
a-grounded out for Valdez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Shane Victorino (11, Karstens), Ben Francisco (7, Karstens), Greg Dobbs (4, Karstens)
HR - Dane Sardinha (3, Karstens)
SF - Ryan Howard (2)
RBI - Raul Ibanez (37), Ryan Howard (59), Greg Dobbs (7), Wilson Valdez (21), Dane Sardinha (8)
2-OUT RBI - Greg Dobbs (3)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Greg Dobbs (4, Misplayed grounder)
Philadelphia Phillies
Joe Blanton 6.1655071 6.27
Jose Contreras (BS,1; L,3-3) 0.1233100 3.24
Mike Zagurski 1100030 2.08
Danys Baez 0.1000100 4.70
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 95-62, Jose Contreras 19-9, Mike Zagurski 16-13, Danys Baez 7-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 9-4, Jose Contreras 1-0
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 26, Jose Contreras 4, Mike Zagurski 4, Danys Baez 2
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jose Tabata, LF4221000 .245
Neil Walker, 2B3210120 .294
Andrew McCutchen, CF4000012 .295
Garrett Jones, 1B4013000 .276
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4122011 .210
Ryan Doumit, C4110032 .257
Ryan Church, RF4110011 .193
Ronny Cedeno, SS3000112 .219
Jeff Karstens, P2000010 .118
    Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
   a- Delwyn Young, PH1112000 .234
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
   b- Lastings Milledge, PH1000001 .268
    Octavio Dotel, P0000000 .000
Totals34898210  
a-doubled for Meek in the 7th
b-lined out for Hanrahan in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jose Tabata (6, Blanton), Ryan Church (9, Blanton), Delwyn Young (9, Contreras)
HR - Pedro Alvarez (2, Blanton)
RBI - Jose Tabata (6), Garrett Jones 3 (50), Pedro Alvarez 2 (9), Delwyn Young 2 (18)
2-OUT RBI - Garrett Jones 2 (8), Pedro Alvarez (4)
SB - Jose Tabata (6, 2nd base off Contreras/Sardinha)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Doumit-Cedeno-Walker, G. Jones-Cedeno-Walker
E - Neil Walker (5, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jeff Karstens 6955021 4.71
Evan Meek (W,4-2) 1000000 0.96
Joel Hanrahan (H,13) 1000010 3.89
Octavio Dotel (S,19) 1000010 4.28
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Karstens 86-53, Evan Meek 14-10, Joel Hanrahan 9-6, Octavio Dotel 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Karstens 7-8, Evan Meek 3-0, Octavio Dotel 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Karstens 26, Evan Meek 3, Joel Hanrahan 3, Octavio Dotel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 28698
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Brian O'Nora