Howard's homer delivers walk-off win for Phils

Howard's homer delivers walk-off win for Phils

PHILADELPHIA -- If you blinked, you might have missed it.

After 10 1/2 innings of play and nearly 3 1/2 hours, Ryan Howard ended Friday night's game at Citizens Bank Park on one pitch. The veteran first baseman lined a 3-2 pitch from Cody Allen over the right-field wall to give the Phillies a 4-3, 11-inning win over the Indians.

• Howard turns back the clock at Citizen's Bank

Howard on walk-off, mindset

"It felt good," Howard said. "I put the fat part of the bat on the ball, and the rest took care of itself."

At only two points were the Indians and Phillies anything but tied. The two clubs matched zeros for the first four innings of play, before they each scored three runs in the fifth.

But while Adam Morgan unraveled the third time through the Cleveland order and exited after allowing three runs, Corey Kluber bounced back from his three-run fifth to retire the final six Phillies he faced. Only two of the runs Kluber allowed in the fifth were earned.

Morgan's 2016 debut

Both teams' bullpens put forth impressive efforts, combining to allow only one run, but the Phillies' outlasted the Indians'. Philadelphia's 'pen struck out 11 over six scoreless frames. The Indians' relievers matched their opponent's impressive efforts through their first three, but Howard put the winning run over the wall to lead off the 11th inning.

"When you're on the road, you're always kind of playing with fire," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Because they get to hit last."

Ruiz's RBI double

It was the Phillies' fourth straight win and seventh in their last eight games. At 13-10, they're three games above .500 for the first time since Sept. 21, 2012.

"It's a lot of fun. This is the most excited I've seen these guys in two years with the team," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Getting out of trouble: It looked as though the Phillies were going to get a run in 10th. Facing Jeff Manship, Philadelphia loaded the bases with one out. But Francona went to his closer, Allen, with the circumstances dire. Allen struck out Freddy Galvis to end the Phillies' rally before getting Maikel Franco to ground out to end the frame.

"Cody came in and did such a good job to get out of that and give us another chance," Francona said.

• Allen defends bold approach vs. Howard late

Allen strands the bases loaded

The next batter he faced -- Howard, the next inning -- ended the game, though.

"He caught too much of the plate to Howard," Francona continued. "That's not the first time [Howard] has done that."

Helping himself: Kluber got the Indians' rally started in fifth, when he came up with two outs. He lined a double into left field, helped by David Lough misplaying the ball as it ricocheted off the wall. Kluber then raced home on the next play, an RBI single by Rajai Davis. It was Kluber's second Major League hit and the first that went for extra bases. No Indians pitcher had an extra-base hit since CC Sabathia's home run against the Dodgers on June 21, 2008.

• Kluber takes advantage of rare opportunity at plate

Kluber's double down the line

"It's fun, because we don't get a chance to do it a lot," Kluber said. "But I don't know if there's any more meaning to it than going out and pitching a good game."

Morgan's night turns: Morgan was cruising in his first Major League start of the season and had sat down nine straight when Kluber came up with two outs in the fifth. After Kluber's double and Davis' following RBI single, Jason Kipnis lifted a 1-2 Morgan offering over the right-field wall to make it a three-run inning. Morgan struck out the next batter, Francisco Lindor, his seventh strikeout on the last batter he faced.

Kipnis' two-run shot

"It was a slider that wasn't low enough," Morgan said of the pitch Kipnis hit over the fence.

Phillies keep mowing down opponents: Phillies pitchers combined for 18 strikeouts on Friday night, setting a new season high. Eleven of those punchouts came from their bullpen, which threw six scoreless innings in relief of Morgan, who notched a career-best seven strikeouts. The Phillies now have 240 strikeouts on the season, the most in the Majors. More >

QUOTABLE
"I put myself in a bad spot where I had to attack him. I wasn't going to walk him there. They'd probably pinch-run and possibly get him into scoring position. You just want to keep guys off the bases. Hopefully he hits it at somebody, but tonight he didn't." -- Allen, on facing Howard in the bottom of the 11th

Herrera sticks with fly ball

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
When Davis drove Kluber home from second in the fifth inning, it snapped the Phillies' 26-inning scoreless streak. The last time Philadelphia had a streak that long was Sept. 13-16, 2009. The Phillies own two of the three longest scoreless streaks of the 2016 season: the aforementioned 26 innings and a 19-inning run from April 11-13. The Dodgers' 31-inning streak to begin the season leads baseball.

WHAT'S NEXT
Indians: Trevor Bauer makes his first start of the season for Cleveland on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET in the second game of the series. He's filling in for Carlos Carrasco, who landed on the disabled list with a right hamstring injury. Starting, however, is hardly foreign to Bauer -- of the 65 MLB games he pitched in from 2012-2015, 64 were starts. He has a 4.76 ERA in six relief appearances this season.

Phillies: Jerad Eickhoff will start for the Phillies on Saturday in the second game of their Interleague series with Cleveland. Eickhoff has a 4.07 ERA through four starts this season, but his last start saw him give up seven runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Brewers. Eickhoff is hoping to look more like the pitcher he was in his first three games, during which he had a 1.89 ERA.

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Stephen Pianovich is a contributor for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.