On Wednesday, with the Phillies trailing, 6-5, in the bottom of the 10th, Kratz hit a one-out double to move John Mayberry Jr. to third base. Ruiz then hit a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to tie the game, which was followed by Rollins' single.
While the Phillies clearly are a different team than the one that spent the first half of the season losing these games, the excitement from their 8-4 start to the second half doesn't erase the fact that the dramatic victories have been necessitated by many of the weaknesses that have caused their 45-54 record. In Wednesday's win, Antonio Bastardo allowed two runs in the eighth on a Ryan Braun homer to squander a 5-3 lead. The Phillies also blew a seventh-inning lead in the win over the Giants, and allowed three runs in the eighth inning Tuesday before scoring six in the bottom half of the frame to seize a 7-6 win over Milwaukee.
Third base, where Placido Polanco could be headed for the disabled list with a back injury, is also an issue. On Wednesday, Ty Wigginton misplayed a popup to allow the go-ahead run to reach base in the 10th.
"When you have a rough day, it's nice get the win," said Wigginton, who has committed 12 errors this season.
Despite winning four straight games and eight of 11, the Phillies still are 14 games back in the NL East and 9?1/2 games out of the final wild-card spot, with seven teams in front of them. They could decide to wait until after this weekend's series in Atlanta to pull the trigger on any moves. The trade deadline is not until Tuesday. Still, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the Reds turned down a proposed deal that would have sent reliever Logan Ondrusek to the Phillies in exchange for free-agent-to-be Shane Victorino. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. would do well to land a controllable bullpen piece for the centerfielder, although Ondrusek's middling strikeout (25) and walk (19) numbers do not make him an ideal long-term solution for the eighth inning.
Victorino brushed off the report after the game, saying he sees no point in addressing rumors on a case-by-case basis.
"The last 4 days, what we've done is the team we are capable of being," he said.
The sweep was the Phillies' first in a three-game series this season?…?Carlos Ruiz tallied his NL-leading 27th RBI in the seventh inning or later?…?Chase Utley went 3-for-4 with a walk and a pair of doubles, and has now driven in at least one run in seven of his last 10 games?…?Righthander Kyle Kendrick extended his career-best scoreless innings streak to 20?1/3. It is the longest active streak in the majors, and the longest for any Phillies pitcher this season.
Contact David Murphy at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @HighCheese. For more Phillies coverage and opinion, read his blog at www.philly.com/HighCheese.