"We're looking for anything to get us going," Manuel said after his team ended a two-game losing streak. "A win helps. The baseball gods might have been with us."
Schneider said redemption ran through his mind as he circled the bases because he felt he was to blame for Madson's blown save in the eighth. He failed to block a third strike in the dirt, triggering a strange sequence of events that allowed Cincinnati to tie the game.
"I owed Madson," Schneider said after the second walk-off home run of his career. "I let that ball get by me and there is no excuse for it, and I'm the first one to tell you that."
The two bullpen heroes turned out to be Jose Contreras and Nelson Figueroa. Contreras pitched a perfect 10th and Figueroa retired the side in order in the 11th and 12th innings to earn his second win of the season.
The game included two of the oddest scoring plays you'll ever see. Jimmy Rollins scored from first base on an infield single in the third inning for the Phillies and Drew Stubbs scored from second base on a strikeout in the eighth inning for the Reds.
After Rollins drew a two-out walk in the third, Shane Victorino hit a hard grounder down the first-base line. A diving Joey Votto got his glove on the ball, but it squirted away from the first baseman. Victorino got to the bag about the same time as pitcher Johnny Cueto, and when the two collided, the pitcher's glove and the baseball went flying.
Rollins went to third and Victorino unwisely rounded first base. Votto threw the ball to the gloveless pitcher, trying to get Victorino before he returned to the bag. Cueto again lost the baseball, and Rollins scored.
"I've never seen that before," Schneider said.
That run gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead and, thanks to a second straight strong performance by righthander Kyle Kendrick, it stood through the seventh inning.
Votto celebrated his addition to the National League all-star team in Internet voting by slamming a solo home run in the first inning off Kendrick, but the Phillies righthander allowed only two hits the rest of the way before being lifted with two outs in the seventh.
"I was pretty happy with my outing," Kendrick said. "It was just a crazy game."
Madson, fresh off the disabled list, made his first appearance since April 28 in the eighth inning.
With runners at first and second, Madson got Brandon Phillips to chase a two-strike pitch in the dirt for what should have been the third out. The ball, however, got past Schneider. Madson ran past home in an effort to help the catcher find the ball, leaving home plate uncovered. Stubbs scored the tying run all the way from second base.
Lidge blew his third save in his last four opportunities. Votto singled to start the inning and advanced to second on a Scott Rolen walk, triggering the first round of boos for the star-crossed closer.
A louder round of boos came a few minutes later, when Votto scored on a two-out double by -pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo to even the score at 3.
When asked if he was worried about Lidge, Manuel provided another vote of confidence for his struggling closer.
"That's our closer," the manager said. "I mean, who else we got? That's what we hired him for and right now that's what we got and he has got to get right. He has to get right."
Last night's game ended too late for this edition. For coverage, go to http://go.philly.com/phillies.
Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577 or email@example.com.