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Howard leads Phillies over Diamondbacks 4-2

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The new rule designed to protect catchers helped the Philadelphia Phillies gain a victory.

Ryan Howard homered in his second game since a three-game benching and scored the go-ahead run on an overturned call at the plate in Philadelphia's 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

Arizona's Miguel Montero was called for blocking the plate before he had the ball and leaving Howard no path, a violation of an experimental rule put in place this season.

''What am I supposed to do? Leave the ball go and get it, or stand still?'' Montero recalled telling umpires. ''The throw took me there. I went and got the ball. I have no clue where to go on this kind of a play.

I'd much rather be run over. It's an awkward rule. Let the game alone. It's been this way for 100 years. It's kind of not fun anymore.''

With the score 2-2 in the sixth, Howard walked with two outs against Vidal Nuno (0-2). Marlon Byrd popped up to short right field, where second baseman Didi Gregorius backpedaled slowly, settled under the ball and allowed it to kick off his glove and bounce toward center.

Ender Inciarte picked up the ball and threw to the plate, where Montero was blocking Howard's path, grabbed the throw on the fly and tagged the runner as Howard tried to get around him on the infield side.

Umpire Dale Scott signaled out, but after a review of 2 minutes, 55 seconds, Howard was ruled safe.

''This year that's a run,'' said Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg, who called his team ''very fortunate.''

''In the last 100 years, it's not a run,'' he said.

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, who came onto to the field to speak with Scott after the video review, said ''the rule has to be reevaluated.''

''I didn't think they got the play right,'' Gibson said.

In the first season of expanded video review, the plate-blocking rule has been among the most contentious of the innovations.

''There's a lot of judgment there and a little bit of confusion,'' Sandberg said. ''Even 3 1/2 months into the season, here the catcher did not know that he couldn't stand there the whole time. And then, ultimately, Howard didn't know his responsibilities as he got to home plate.''

Howard hit a two-run homer in the first, his 16th of the season but second since June 19. He is 3 for 8 since his benching.

''These are a couple of games he can build on and continue to contribute and improve and help the team out,'' Sandberg said.

Philadelphia added a run in the seventh when left fielder David Peralta dropped Ben Revere's fly to the warning track, and Montero was given an error for dropping shortstop Nick Ahmed's throw and allowing Wil Nieves to score.

Montero admitted the earlier play at the plate had an effect on him in the seventh.

''I thought, What should I do?''' he said. ''They make it very hard.''

Roberto Hernandez (5-8) allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings. He had been 0-5 in seven home starts since beating Washington 1-0 on May 4.

''He got groundballs when he needed them, and he threw enough pitches around the zone and got some hitters to swing the bat,'' Sandberg said.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a two-hit ninth for his 25th save in 28 chances.

Nuno, making his fourth start since he was acquired from the New York Yankees, gave up four runs - two earned - four hits and three walks in 6 2-3 innings.

Nick Ahmed doubled in a run for Arizona in the second, and Paul Goldschmidt hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

NOTES: Arizona's Aaron Hill didn't play after being hit on the right hand on Saturday night. ... Arizona first-base coach Dave McKay wasn't with the team in order to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for Tony La Russa. McKay served on La Russa's staff for 27 straight seasons. ... RHP Chase Anderson (6-4, 3.58) starts for Arizona on Monday in the opener of a three-game series at Cincinnati, which starts RHP Homer Bailey (8-5, 4.22). ... Philadelphia starts RHP A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.86) in the opener of a three-game series at the New York Mets, who start RHP Bartolo Colon (9-8, 4.03).

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

R. Howard
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1

D. Peralta
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Arizona Diamondbacks
Ender Inciarte, CF4110001.253.284.308
David Peralta, LF4020001.321.349.467
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B3001012.306.400.550
Miguel Montero, C4010011.260.343.404
Martin Prado, 3B4010001.279.325.382
Gerardo Parra, RF3100001.256.302.359
Didi Gregorius, 2B3000000.231.325.404
Nick Ahmed, SS3011010.214.214.262
Vidal Nuno, P2000001.000.000.000
   Matt Stites, P0000000.000.000.000
   a-Nick Evans, PH0000100.273.304.636
   Randall Delgado, P0000000.000.000.000
a-walked for Stites in the 8th
2B - Ender Inciarte (7, R. Hernandez), Nick Ahmed (2, R. Hernandez)
SF - Paul Goldschmidt (3)
RBI - Paul Goldschmidt (67), Nick Ahmed (2)
2-OUT RBI - Nick Ahmed (1)
Team LOB - 3
Outfield Assists - David Peralta 1
E - Didi Gregorius (5, Dropped fly), Miguel Montero (10, Missed catch of throw)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Vidal Nuno (L,2-7) 6.2442351 4.97
Matt Stites 0.1000000 6.00
Randall Delgado 1000030 4.91
Pitches-Strikes - Vidal Nuno 117-77, Matt Stites 5-2, Randall Delgado 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vidal Nuno 8-8, Matt Stites 1-0
Batters Faced - Vidal Nuno 28, Matt Stites 1, Randall Delgado 3
Philadelphia Phillies
Ben Revere, CF4010000.295.315.352
Jimmy Rollins, SS4010001.241.321.396
Chase Utley, 2B3100111.291.354.433
Ryan Howard, 1B3212110.227.309.385
Marlon Byrd, RF4000010.266.316.478
Darin Ruf, LF2000101.143.269.333
   Ken Giles, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jonathan Papelbon, P0000000.000.000.000
Cody Asche, 3B3000011.250.302.395
Wil Nieves, C3110010.290.302.452
Roberto Hernandez, P2000020.059.059.059
   a-Domonic Brown, PH-LF1000011.231.280.339
a-struck out for R. Hernandez in the 7th
2B - Ben Revere (7, Nuno)
HR - Ryan Howard (16, Nuno)
RBI - Ryan Howard 2 (62)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Howard 2 (27)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Giles-Rollins-Howard, Giles-Rollins-Howard-Rollins-Howard
Philadelphia Phillies
Roberto Hernandez (W,5-8) 7422010 4.14
Ken Giles (H,5) 1000110 0.98
Jonathan Papelbon (S,25) 1200010 1.83
Pitches-Strikes - Roberto Hernandez 75-49, Ken Giles 12-5, Jonathan Papelbon 11-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roberto Hernandez 13-7, Ken Giles 1-0, Jonathan Papelbon 1-0
Batters Faced - Roberto Hernandez 25, Ken Giles 3, Jonathan Papelbon 4
Game Information
Attendance - 31514
Game Time - 2:30
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Quinn Wolcott