Phillies blow lead, rally in 9th to continue mastery of Padres

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Aaron Rowand is hoping a big hit in a clutch
situation is all he needs to turn his season around.

Rowand doubled in Ryan Howard in the ninth inning and the
Philadelphia Phillies continued their dominance over the San Diego
Padres with a 6-5 victory Tuesday.

"When I came here, my goal was to help this team in any way I
can," Rowand said. "I've been able to play pretty good defense,
but haven't done much at the plate. I'm just trying to fight my way
through it. Hopefully, this will help turn things around for me."

The Phillies, who have won two in a row for the first time since
June 18-19, have beaten San Diego 11 straight times dating to 2004.

Eric Young went 2-for-5 with two RBI for San Diego, which has
lost three straight.

Rowand has captured the hearts of Phillies fans with his
aggressive style of playing defense in center field this season.
The play that secured his fan-favorite status came on May 11 when
he crashed into the wall to make a catch with the bases loaded in a
2-0 win against the New York Mets.

Rowand broke his nose and suffered non-displacement fractures
around his left eye on the play, requiring a stint on the 15-day
disabled list. Since returning, Rowand is batting .226 (26-for-115)
in 31 games, lowering his season average to .267.

"Everyone goes through tough periods at the plate during the
course of the season," Rowand said. "When I came off the DL, I
was hitting balls hard, but they were right at people. You try to
do more and you swing yourself into a bigger funk."

Rowand produced one of his biggest hits of the season in the

Howard led off the inning with a single off reliever Cla
Meredith (1-1) and moved to second on Pat Burrell's swinging bunt
that catcher Rob Bowen turned into the first out. Rowand sliced a
2-2 pitch down the right-field line and into the corner, allowing
Howard to score easily.

"Aaron really needed it, he's been scuffling," Philadelphia
manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's been overswinging too much
lately. On the hit, he stayed back real nice, used his hands and
went with the pitch."

San Diego tied it in the eighth. Mike Piazza hit a leadoff
double off reliever Arthur Rhodes and pinch-runner Ben Johnson
advanced to third on Vinny Castilla's single to center field.

Phillies closer Tom Gordon (3-3) relieved Rhodes and struck out
pinch-hitter Rob Bowen before Josh Barfield's game-tying RBI
single. It was Gordon's second blown save in 23 opportunities this

"We just couldn't get one more hit to get us over the hump,"
San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said.

The Padres led 2-0 before Philadelphia pushed across five runs
in the fourth. Howard hit a two-run single, advanced to third on
Pat Burrell's base hit and scored when Rowand reached on an error
by shortstop Khalil Greene.

One batter later, Carlos Ruiz, who was recalled from Triple-A
Scranton before the game, connected for his first major league home
run -- a two-run shot into the left-field seats.

Young hit a two-run single in the seventh, and Piazza and Adrian
Gonzalez each drove in a run for San Diego.

Philadelphia's Cole Hamels, who had lost his previous four
starts, didn't return after a rain delay in the second inning. He
allowed one run and one hit in two innings. He also walked two and
struck out two.

Hamels said he was surprised he wasn't allowed to go back out
after the rain delay. Philadelphia used an all-bullpen effort in
Sunday's win against Toronto.

"I kept my arm warm by throwing every 10-15 minutes, but I
didn't get the chance to go back in," Hamels said. "That was (the
coaching staff's) call."

Manuel said the length of the rain delay was the determining
factor why Hamels didn't return. The grounds crew had some problems
covering the field during the gusty thunderstorm, and the wet field
took a while to be prepared after the rain delay.

"If the field hadn't gotten so wet, he might have gotten back
out there a lot sooner," Manuel said. "We're being cautious with

The 22-year-old Hamels is one of Philadelphia's top prospects
and has had injury problems in the past.

Hensley allowed five runs -- three earned -- and seven hits over
six innings. He struck out seven and didn't walk a batter.

But Hensley couldn't prevent another Padres setback to the

"We haven't played well against them," Bochy said. "We have
to do something about that. We have a tough time with them, we know

Game notes
The game was delayed one hour by rain in the second. ...
Phillies 2B Chase Utley had three hits and extended his hitting
streak to 10 games. ... San Diego C Josh Bard had a pinch-hit
single in the seventh inning, and has nine hits in his last 17
at-bats (.529). ... The Phillies have surrendered 22 first-inning
runs in their last 22 games.