05/24/09 7:25 PM ET
Ruiz gives Phils emotional victory in 11th
Lidge can't save it in ninth, but catcher rips RBI double
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Ruiz's two-out double in the 11th inning Sunday scored Chase Utley for the winning run in a 4-3 victory over the Yankees. It was an emotional victory for a team that watched its closer blow his second game of the weekend, third game of a 10-game road trip and fourth game in 12 opportunities this season.
The victory also clinched an 8-2 trip through Washington, Cincinnati and New York. The Phillies hit .288 and scored 65 runs on the trip. They also had a 4.63 ERA, an improvement over the 5.36 ERA they carried through the first 32 games of the season.
"We earned it," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
They did, but only after Phillies closer Brad Lidge sounded more alarms in Philadelphia with his latest blown save. Lidge took the loss Saturday in a 5-4 loss to the Yankees after he allowed a two-run homer to Alex Rodriguez and back-to-back singles to Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera to score the winning run. He allowed back-to-back singles to Cano and Cabrera again Sunday, which produced the tying run.
Neither ball had been hit hard. A few feet to the left or right and Lidge very possibly gets the save.
Cano's ball rolled just out of Utley's reach to start the ninth. Pinch-runner Ramiro Pena stole second base to get himself in scoring position and Cabrera's ball rolled through the middle to center field to score Pena.
Cabrera stole second base with one out to put himself in scoring position, but Lidge got out of the inning without further damage.
"It was tougher and easier in both ways," Lidge said. "Tough, obviously, because it didn't go the way I wanted it to. But, man, today was totally different than yesterday. I felt great. I was throwing the ball where I wanted to. They got two ground balls that weren't necessarily hit that well, and a stolen base in there and that was a recipe for a run. The things I was in control of today I feel real good about.
"Again, I'm disappointed with the result and I know that I've got to start -- no matter what it is -- I've got to start getting them down."
Manuel said Lidge remains his closer.
"I've got a lot of confidence," Manuel said. "He's got a lot of talent. He's got a big fastball and a good slider. You know what he needs? Just to get 'em out one more time. That's what he needs. He's fine."
The blown save took a win away from left-hander Cole Hamels, who allowed two runs in six innings. But right-hander Clay Condrey pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win. He is 4-0 with a 2.19 ERA in 23 appearances.
Yankees right-hander Brett Tomko retired the first two batters he faced in the 11th, but walked Utley on five pitches to bring up Ruiz.
"I actually was thinking of hitting for Ruiz," Manuel said.
Good thing he didn't. Utley stole second to get in scoring position as Ruiz fouled off three pitches before he laced a curveball to left field in the nine-pitch at-bat.
Utley scored easily.
"Once he stole second base, I knew it was a big at-bat for me," Ruiz said. "I got a good pitch to hit, and I made good contact."
Ruiz went 3-for-4 with a double, one RBI and one walk Sunday. He is hitting .438 (14-for-32) with five doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, eight walks, a .550 on-base percentage and .688 slugging percentage in his past nine games to raise his average to .302.
Ruiz said he has shortened his stance a little bit and has relaxed his hands in the batter's box, which has helped his swing.
"I'm trusting my hands," he said. "And when you're patient at the plate, you look for good pitches to hit."
Lidge is looking for good pitches, too.
"This is a battle right now," Lidge said. "But I feel like I'm going to come out on top."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.