PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Rowand's RBI single with one out in the 14th inning lifted the surging Phillies over visiting Cincinnati, 6-5, last night, gaining precious ground on the wild-card leaders.
The Phillies overcame deficits in the eighth and ninth innings to win for the seventh time in 10 games. Back in the chase after dealing one-fourth of their Opening Day roster before the trade deadline, the Phillies entered three games behind the Reds.
David Dellucci led off the 14th with a single against Elizardo Ramirez, who was supposed to start tonight. Ramirez (4-9) walked Chase Utley and intentionally walked Ryan Howard to load the bases because pitcher Aaron Fultz was due up and the Phillies had no position players left. Fultz inexplicably came up swinging and lined to shortstop, but Rowand lined a single to right-center to win it.
Before the winning hit, Rowand, who has been hit by 16 pitches this season, jumped away from a fastball that nearly hit him. ``I stepped out of the box and I realized I should've taken it," Rowand said. ``I looked over to the bench and I was hearing it from the guys. I started laughing."
Fultz (3-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. He struck out Todd Hollandsworth to leave the bases loaded in the 13th; Hollandsworth made a diving catch on Jimmy Rollins's drive to leave two runners on in the 13th.
The Phillies took a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning on Pat Burrell's RBI triple after Rollins hit a tying, two-run homer. But pinch hitter Javier Valentin's two-run homer off All-Star closer Tom Gordon put the Reds ahead, 5-4, in the ninth. The Phillies answered in the bottom half on Shane Victorino's sacrifice fly against Eddie Guardado.