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Phillies find missing offense in Arizona

The Sports Xchange
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When the Phillies entered the ninth inning of Monday's game in Arizona, they were three outs away from being shut out for the third time in 10 days and from scoring two runs or less for the sixth time in their last seven games. But trailing 9-0, they rallied for five runs in their final at-bat.

They lost, but the offense showed a pulse. The heart continued to beat throughout the lineup in the final two games at Chase Field as the Phillies took the series with a 7-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

"It's awesome," said Cole Hamels, who earned his third consecutive win. "Things are starting to click."

"You have to start somewhere," Jimmy Rollins said, "so hopefully that was the start."

The Phils entered the week having scored the second fewest runs in baseball. They scored one run in each of the final two games in San Diego and were on the verge of making it two runs in three games, combined, before Monday night's last gasp of a rally.

On Tuesday, they tied a season-high with eight runs, highlighted by home runs from Hunter Pence and Laynce Nix. In the series finale Wednesday, which was also the end of a 10-game West Coast trip, they turned a 1-0 lead into a 6-0 advantage when they sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth inning, chasing Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill in the process.

The Phillies have scored 19 runs in their last 20 innings. On Wednesday, seven runs helped Hamels' sharp start stand up.

From the first inning until there was one out in the seventh, Hamels retired 18 batters in a row. He allowed two runs on four hits in eight innings.

"Whenever you see a Hamels or Lee or Halladay give up two runs, we definitely need to win those games," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We should win those games."

The Phillies ended the trip 5-5 despite scoring two runs or less in five of the first seven games.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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