Hoover lifts Phils in final postseason tuneup with RBI single in 10th

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia's big sluggers had the day off to rest for the playoffs. The Phillies didn't miss them in their final postseason tuneup.

With Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley all out of the lineup, Paul Hoover hit a game-ending RBI single in the 10th inning and the defending World Series champions prepared for their title defense with a 7-6 victory over the Florida Marlins on Sunday.

"Right now, I feel real good about our club," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Manuel has a couple of pressing issues as the Phillies enter the playoffs for the third straight year. Will he start Cole Hamels or Cliff Lee in the postseason opener against Colorado? Use Ryan Madson or Brad Lidge as closer? Is J.A. Happ a starter or reliever?

Manuel will decide soon enough. The Phillies host the Rockies on Wednesday in the opener of their best-of-five division series.

Happ, a 12-game winner, pitched only two innings in his 23rd start of the year. The rookie left-hander struck out 10 and tossed a shutout against the Rockies in July, but has valuable experience and success out of the bullpen.

"I'm not ready to reveal what we're going to do yet because I'm not sure what we're going to do," Manuel said.

Happ has settled into the rotation, but would go back to the bullpen if that's where he's needed.

"Hopefully when they know, I'll know," he said. "I think we all read a little bit into it. I think I'm going to be available when needed. I don't know what that means."

Just one RBI shy of 100, right fielder Jayson Werth started and went 1 for 4, missing out on the milestone. The crowd erupted in jeers when Werth was intentionally walked with two outs and the winning run on second in the 10th inning.

Howard tied Prince Fielder for the NL lead with 141 RBIs and was second in homers with 45. Center fielder Shane Victorino led the league with 13 triples.

A sellout crowd of 45,211 packed Citizens Bank Park for the finale. That brought Philadelphia's final attendance totals to 73 sellouts and a record 3,600,693 fans.

"We know what we need to do. We got the experience from last year," Lidge said. "We're looking good."

Miguel Cairo homered for the NL East champions, who finished 45-36 at home. Chad Durbin (2-2) got the win with one scoreless inning.

"This is when it starts," Rollins said. "You have to get to the postseason to have that opportunity."

Hanley Ramirez got the day off and finished with a .342 average to become the first Marlins player to win a batting title. He also is the first NL shortstop to win the batting title since Dick Groat in 1960.

Marlins left fielder Chris Coghlan had three hits to bolster his bid for NL Rookie of the Year. His 113 hits after the All-Star break tied with Juan Pierre (2004) and Bill Buckner (1980) for the most in the last 45 years.

The Marlins went 87-75 under third-year manager Fredi Gonzalez. While Gonzalez was widely praised for keeping the Marlins in wild-card contention until the final weeks with the lowest payroll in baseball, he was forced to respond to a story saying the team may replace him.

"We all have bosses. We'll just keep going forward," Gonzalez said.

ESPN.com reported former Mets manager Bobby Valentine, who recently ended a six-year run as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan's Pacific League, is in talks about taking a position with the Marlins.

"As we looked at the performance at things that happened, games that went one way, games that went another way, there is no question we felt we should have been a playoff team," Marlins president David Samson said.

Dan Meyer (3-2) took the loss for the Marlins, who finished with a winning record for only the sixth time in franchise history. The Marlins went 84-77 last season.

The Phillies (93-69) will open the postseason at home for the third consecutive year. They lost in the division series to Colorado in 2007 and kicked off their run to the championship last season -- they were 92-70 -- by eliminating Milwaukee.

It's the Rockies again standing in their way.

"Last year, we thought, 'OK we were there last year,'" Victorino said. "Now, we just have to go out and play. That's what it's going to be like this year. We're the world champs."

Game notes
Phillies CF Ben Francisco was caught stealing three times. He was nailed at third for the second out in the ninth inning. ... Werth's 20th stolen base gave the Phillies three members of the 20-20 club, along with Rollins and Utley. ... Ramirez (106), Jorge Cantu (100), Dan Uggla (90) and Cody Ross (90) gave the Marlins four players with 90-plus RBIs for the first time in team history.