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Preview: Halladay Up As Phillies Look to Equalize Series

(Sports Network) – The Philadelphia Phillies needed some late heroics to stop the Chicago Cubs yesterday afternoon and hope that the momentum will carry over into this evening’s finale of a four-game series from Wrigley Field.

The Phillies trailed 1-0 with two outs in the top of the ninth inning before scoring four runs to take the lead for good. Placido Polanco, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game, had an RBI single and Ross Gload scored on a wild pitch. Jayson Werth later walked with the bases loaded to plate a run and Raul Ibanez put a lid on the scoring with an RBI single for a 4-1 edge.

Closer Brad Lidge allowed a walk in the bottom of the ninth before recoding his seventh save of the season. Cole Hamels was sharp through seven scoreless innings, as he allowed seven hits with five K’s and two walks. Chad Durbin worked a scoreless eighth inning to grab the win.

“It’s tremendous,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of the win. “We gotta win some games. Every game we win from here on out is huge. We’re chasing two teams and we need to put together some wins if we’re going to stay in this thing.”

Werth and Ibanez both ended with two hits and an RBI for the Phillies, who ended a two-game slide and won for the fifth time in seven tries. They are now 4 1/2 games behind Atlanta for the NL East lead, with the New York Mets lurking at five games off the pace.

Taking the hill for Manuel’s club tonight will be ace Roy Halladay. Halladay is only 2-4 in his last six decisions and did not figure into the decision the last time out in a 1-0 win over Cincinnati despite tossing nine innings and giving up five hits. The righty also fanned nine batters.

Halladay is 10-7 with a 2.19 ERA in 19 starts this season and will try for his first career victory over the Cubs. In two career starts against Chicago he is 0-2 with a 3.00 earned run average.

Chicago suffered its first loss on the 10-game homestand (2-1) and wasted a superb effort from starter Randy Wells on Saturday. Wells delivered seven shutout innings and struck out five in the no-decision, while Carlos Marmol was the culprit in the ninth, allowing four runs on one hit and five walks to suffer the loss.

“Sometimes he’s effectively wild,” staff mate Sean Marshall said of Marmol on the team’s site. “Today, he was picking at the corners a little bit. With a lineup like the Phillies have, you have to stay ahead of them. He knows what he has to do. He’s done it so well this year and last year and his entire career.”

Ryan Theriot had the lone RBI for the Cubs in the seventh inning, while Derrek Lee, Marlon Byrd and Starlin Castro had two hits apiece in defeat.

Tom Gorzelanny will try to pitch the Cubs to a series triumph when he takes the hill Sunday. Gorzelanny has won two straight appearances and previously toed the rubber on July 10 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the 7-3 win at Dodger Stadium, he gave up two runs — one earned — in six innings to improve to 4-5 in 18 games (12 starts) to go along with a 3.16 ERA.

The left-hander beat the Phillies on May 19 this season on the road, as he tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings in his team’s 4-1 win. Gorzelanny is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two career starts against Philadelphia. He is just 1-3 in the Windy City this season.

Chicago, which will also host Houston and St. Louis, is 10 games off the lead in the NL Central Division.

The Phillies had a five-game winning streak at Wrigley Field halted with Thursday’s loss, but have still won nine of the past 13 meetings between the ballclubs.