Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Ryan Howard’s two-run homer in the 10th gave the Phillies a miraculous 9-7 win over the Reds after they used a pair of unlikely homers in a six-run ninth to take the game to extra innings.
Cincinnati starter Mike Leake was cruising into the ninth, holding a 7-1 lead and retiring 14-of-15 coming into the inning.
Howard’s seemingly innocuous run-scoring bloop single preceded a Jayson Werth base hit and Greg Dobbs’ shot off the right-field foul pole.
Francisco Cordero relieved Leake and got Brian Schneider on a fly to center for the second out before walking pinch-hitter Ben Francisco.
Cody Ransom, called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley less than a week ago, stepped in as a pinch-hitter and took an 0-1 fastball the other way and over the wall in right-center to tie the game.
After Ryan Madson (2-0) retired the side in order in the top of the 10th, Howard followed Raul Ibanez’s leadoff double with an opposite-field blast off Arthur Rhodes (3-3) to complete the comeback, the second straight extra-inning win for the Phils to start this four-game set.
The final innings took Joe Blanton off the hook after the starter allowed six runs — five earned — on 12 hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Leake gave up five runs on nine hits in 8 1/3 innings. The rookie hurler also went 3-for-4 with an RBI at the plate.
Jonny Gomes went 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI, while Miguel Cairo had three hits and drove in two for the Reds, who have lost three of four.
The Reds jumped on Blanton early. In the first inning, an error and single put two on for Gomes, who took an 0-1 sinker over the wall in left-center for his 11th home run of the season.
Gomes came up with the bases loaded the next frame and ripped a line drive that Dobbs couldn’t handle at third, allowing Corky Miller to score.
Werth’s sacrifice fly in the fourth got the Phillies on the board, but Cairo hit a ball just out of Werth’s reach in right the next frame to plate Gomes and Jay Bruce for a 6-1 Cincinnati lead.
Leake set down nine straight at one point and added an RBI single to left in the ninth before the wheels fell off in the bottom of the inning.
All-Star third baseman Scott Rolen was a late scratch for the Reds due to a sore back, while Phillies infielder Wilson Valdez sat out because of a sore left wrist…Blanton also struck out seven but saw his earned-run average rise to 6.41…Orlando Cabrera (0-for-6) was the only Cincinnati starter held without a hit…It was Ransom’ first home run since he hit two for the Yankees against the Red Sox on September 26, 2008…Howard and Ibanez each had three hits.