Bullpen comes up big in win over Pirates

(Photo: Howard Smith/US Presswire)

The Phillies bullpen hasn't exactly been rock steady this season, but you wouldn't know it from their performance Tuesday night. Michael Schwimer was the most pleasant surprise as the Phils took their second straight from the Pirates.

Michael Schwimer wanted to jump into the stands to celebrate. He settled for an animated fist-pump instead.

Ty Wigginton and Carlos Ruiz homered to back Vance Worley and the Philadelphia Phillies held on for a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. Worley (4-4) allowed three runs and six hits in six-plus innings. Schwimer pitched out of a jam in the seventh, Antonio Bastardo worked the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon finished for his 18th save in 19 tries, but did allow a solo homer to Michael McKenry in the ninth.

Schwimer came in with runners on second and third, no outs and the Phillies clinging to a 4-3 lead. He retired Jose Tabata on a sharp bouncer to the mound. Then Neil Walker lofted a fly ball to shallow left and John Mayberry Jr. nailed McKenry trying to score with a perfect one-hop throw to the plate. "I was trying to stop myself from jumping in the crowd," Schwimer said. "I'm an emotional person. You have to be who you are. My plan of attack was just to execute pitches and go from there. Those are situations I love. I've gotten in trouble in the past by getting too excited. I've learned to channel that."

Ruiz hammered an 0-2 pitch to deep left for his career-best tenth homer to give the Phillies an insurance run in the eighth. Ruiz, a career .265 hitter coming into the year, leads the majors with a .361 average after his tenth three-hit game.

Pirates starter Erik Bedard (4-8) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings. Pittsburgh came in with the best record in the NL since May 25 at 18-10. "There were some good things going on," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He'd probably like the changeup back to Wigginton, but he kept us in the game."

The Phillies have won two straight to climb out of last place, and the five-time defending NL East champions could have some help on the way. Chase Utley was 2-for-5 with a homer in a game for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The five-time All-Star second baseman could make his season debut on Wednesday. He has missed the first three months because of chronic knee problems. Meanwhile, former NL MVP Ryan Howard will start a rehab stint at Class A Lakewood on Thursday if all goes well with an examination on his left Achilles in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Trailing 4-2 in the seventh, the Pirates rallied against Worley. Clint Barmes walked and McKenry singled. Pinch-hitter Drew Sutton followed with an RBI double down the left-field line. But Schwimer entered and closed the door. "He got out of a tough jam," manager Charlie Manuel said. "The more you succeed and leave that game on a positive, that helps your confidence."

The Pirates squandered another opportunity to tie it in the eighth after Andrew McCutchen led off with a double off Bastardo. Josh Harrison, pinch-hitting for cleanup hitter Garrett Jones, popped up a bunt that Ruiz ran down. Casey McGehee popped out and Pedro Alvarez struck out.

Wigginton gave Philadelphia a 4-1 lead in the third when he hit a two-run shot to left-center with two outs. McGehee's two-out RBI single in the sixth got the Pirates within 4-2. McCutchen, who had doubled, scored on the hit.

Notes: Brian Schneider had an MRI that revealed a high ankle sprain. He'll miss three to five weeks... Worley has a 2.70 ERA in five starts since returning from an elbow injury... James McDonald (6-3, 2.19) starts for the Pirates on Wednesday against an undetermined starter for Philadelphia. --- Rob Maaddi can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/RobMaaddi.


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