This time, it was their turn to be hurt by that kind of strange interlude.
With the Phils up, 2-0, San Francisco started the third with Jonathan Sanchez, taunted relentlessly on the mound by the noisy crowd of 46,062, slapping a two-strike pitch up the middle.
Chase Utley, whose glove this series has been more leaden than golden, sped right, toward the path of the ball and bent low. But once again an oddly hopping ball skidded just under his outstretched hand for a single.
That brought up Andres Torres, who, since being returned to the top of the Giants' order by manager Bruce Bochy, has been San Francisco's toughest out.
"I've been trying to stay calm and relaxed," Torres said before the game. "When I get kind of a little bit excited . . . sometimes I go out there, try to get too much energy and things like that. Right now, in this kind of series, I try to relax and see the ball."
He saw this pitch from Roy Oswalt well enough to drive it to deepest center field.
Shane Victorino, retreating rapidly, picked it up on his radar screen, then, his already wide eyes broadened by the prospect of postseason immortality, turned to pursue at a quicker pace.
Racing toward the green wall and the 401-foot sign, with the crowd's collective voice strangled in a nervous gasp, the Phillies centerfielder extended both arms and appeared ready to make a Willie Mays-like catch.
The descending ball struck his black glove. Just then he made contact with the padded wall. The ball rolled up his arm, onto a ledge, and, as Victorino whirled his arms like a confused football referee trying to corral it against his body, dropped to the warning track.
The centerfielder's back was to the two runners, and, even though umpire Dan Iassogna immediately signaled safe, at least one of them clearly was confused.
Sanchez, still unsure, spun his wheels at second. When it finally became clear the ball was loose, Torres was nearly alongside him. The Giants outfielder had to retreat rapidly to first, barely beating a relay throw and winding up with a 401-foot single.
By now, Oswalt - who had thrown 18 pitches in a surprise Game 4 relief appearance - was looking hittable, if not a touch arm-weary. The runners advanced on a Freddy Sanchez sacrifice.
Aubrey Huff, his good-luck thong still bringing him good karma though no invitations to appear on the cover of Maxim, followed with a single to center.
Jonathan Sanchez scored easily, but the strong-armed Victorino threw Torres out at the plate, with catcher Carlos Ruiz holding onto the ball, rocking backward with the momentum of the collision.
The tying run was saved only momentarily, until yet another Phillies defensive failing in this woulda-coulda-shoulda inning.
Buster Posey chopped a swinging-bunt bouncer toward third. Placido Polanco charged, scooped, and unleashed a desperate heave to first.
But the ball and the onrushing Posey arrived in the vicinity of Ryan Howard's glove at precisely the same moment, giving the big first baseman no room or opportunity to make the catch.
The ball eluded Howard. Huff, who had taken second on the play at the plate, scampered home easily to tie the game, 2-2, the inning's lone error initially charged to the first baseman before being rightly assigned to Polanco.
Contact staff writer Frank Fitzpatrick at 215-854-5068 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.