PHILADELPHIA – Roy Oswalt’s daring dash around the bases nearly overshadowed his dominant performance on the mound.
Oswalt pitched eight superb innings, Jimmy Rollins drove in four runs and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the San Francisco Giants 6-1 Sunday night to even the N.L. championship series at one victory apiece.
“I’m hoping for a momentum switch and get back to San Francisco and take the series there,” Oswalt said.
A day after Tim Lincecum outdueled Roy Halladay in a marquee matchup of aces, Oswalt beat the Giants’ Jonathan Sanchez.
The series shifts to San Francisco for Game 3 on Tuesday afternoon. Matt Cain faces Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP.
Even though he didn’t finish the outing, it sure was a complete game for Oswalt. He allowed one run and three hits, striking out nine. He also singled using one of Rollins’ bats and scored a run after racing through a coach’s stop sign in the seventh.
Instead of his pitching, everyone wanted to know what Oswalt was thinking on the bases.
“First thing in my mind was score,” he said. “When I got halfway, I saw the stop sign. I said it’s too late now. No turning back.”
Rollins kidded Oswalt about it.
“It was a nice slide,” he said. “That was something I would do. Actually, I probably wouldn’t have needed to slide.”
Cody Ross hit his third solo homer in two games for the Giants, who struck out 10 times.
Rollins busted out of a 1-for-15 postseason slump, going 2 for 3 with a bases-loaded walk and a bases-clearing double.
“I knew it was just a matter of time,” Rollins said.
Oswalt showed why the Phillies got him from Houston before the trade deadline, shutting down the Giants in a crucial spot.
“You can’t get caught up in the moment of trying to get momentum back on your side,” Oswalt said. “You have to pitch your game.”
Sanchez gave up three runs – two earned – and five hits in six-plus innings. The tough lefty had dominated the Phillies in his five previous starts against them, not allowing more than four hits in any outing.
“It’s 1-1, you know? It’s tied. We’ve got to go out there and start winning,” Sanchez said.
Oswalt chased Sanchez with a line-drive single leading off the bottom of the seventh. He advanced to second on Shane Victorino’s sacrifice off Ramon Ramirez. After Chase Utley was intentionally walked, Placido Polanco lined a single to center. Oswalt ran through third-base coach Sam Perlozzo’s stop sign and slid safely ahead of the relay throw to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead.
“That was comical,” Rollins said. “Roy’s got those stiff hips and he looked like he was cardboard running down the line, but he got it done tonight.”
Jeremy Affeldt came in for San Francisco and struck out Ryan Howard after a double steal. Jayson Werth was intentionally walked before Santiago Casilla entered to face Rollins. The former N.L. MVP, dropped from leadoff to sixth in the batting order since the playoffs started, hit a drive off the right-center field fence to put the Phillies up 6-1.
“I got a lot of faith in him,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “I know how much he wants to be up there.”
Oswalt didn’t allow a hit until Ross connected with one out in the fifth to tie it at 1. He ripped a 1-0 pitch into the left-center field seats – nearly the same spot both his homers off Halladay landed.
But the Phillies played small-ball – a rarity for this lineup filled with inconsistent sluggers – to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom half.
Victorino, one of the few Phillies with success off Sanchez, lined a double down the left-field line. He advanced to third on Utley’s fly out to right and scored on Polanco’s sacrifice fly to center, which drew a loud ovation.
The Phillies took advantage of Sanchez’s wildness and scored an unearned run without getting a hit in the first.
a-grounded out for Oswalt in the 8th. b-singled for Romo in the 9th.
E—Fontenot (1). LOB—San Francisco 7, Philadelphia 8. 2B—Victorino (1), Howard (2), Rollins (1). HR—C.Ross (3), off Oswalt. RBIs—C.Ross (3), Polanco 2 (2), Rollins 4 (4). SB—Utley 2 (2), Polanco (1). S—Victorino. SF—Polanco. RLSP—San Francisco 2 (A.Huff, Renteria); Philadelphia 5 (Ibanez 3, Werth, Oswalt). RMU—Utley, C.Ruiz.
|J.Sanchez L, 0-1||6||5||3||2||3||7||100||3.00|
|Oswalt W, 1-0||8||3||1||1||3||9||111||1.13|
J.Sanchez pitched to 1 batter in the 7th. IR-S—R.Ramirez 1-1, Affeldt 2-0, S.Casilla 3-3. IBB—off Affeldt (Werth), off R.Ramirez (Utley).
T—3:01. A—46,099 (43,651).