Phillies fall late as bullpen falters

Phillies fall late as bullpen falters

PHOENIX -- Uniform numbers 55, 54, 52 and 44 line up right to left along one wall of the visitors' clubhouse at Chase Field, separated by the 51 of Carlos Ruiz.

While Ryan Madson and Tom Gordon recover from a strained left oblique muscle and right rotator cuff inflammation, respectively, one of those four set of digits will have to find a way to make manager Charlie Manuel want to call the number.

It hasn't happened.

No. 54, Francisco Rosario, stood out for the wrong reasons in Monday's 4-3 loss to Arizona, opening a three-game series. Rosario surrendered the go-ahead run, after the Phillies fought back to tie for the second time in the game. As Rosario, Clay Condrey (55), Fabio Castro (52) and Yoel Hernandez (44) strive to earn the manager's trust, they are trying his patience.

"Those are tough spots in the game," Manuel said quietly. "That's a lot to ask somebody who's not used to doing that. We need somebody to step up and get a job there."

In his second tough spot in as many appearances, Rosario entered a tie game in the eighth. The righty, 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA, issued a four-pitch, one-out walk to Eric Byrnes, who moved to third when a Stephen Drew roller sneaked through the right side of the infield. First baseman Greg Dobbs dived, but had a tougher play since he was holding Byrnes on first base.

Carlos Quentin then hooked a low offering out of the reach of Jimmy Rollins, who appropriately dived, but had little chance of keeping it in the infield, let alone recording an out. Byrnes scored the go-ahead run, and it stuck.

"We shouldn't have been in that position in the first place," said Aaron Rowand, whose double led to the tying run scoring in the eighth inning. "We didn't swing the bats very well today. Doug [Davis] has a good cutter, and guys couldn't get extended on him. Balls that looked like they're middle away ended up on your hands. We could've scored a couple more runs."

Because they didn't, the Phillies wasted Freddy Garcia's best and longest outing of the season. Pitching with no apparent side-effects from the unfortunate collision at San Francisco's AT&T Park -- he smashed into the back of a groundskeeper's cart while shagging flies before Sunday's game -- Garcia logged six innings and allowed two runs on five hits, three of them doubles. "I didn't have any problem with my leg," Garcia said. "It didn't bother me. When it happened, I thought I wouldn't pitch, but we got it ready. A lot of ice. After [Sunday's] game, I was walking fine."

Garcia issued no walks, a key for the right-hander who has been angry with his lack of command this season.

"It was one more inning," Garcia said. "I lasted a little longer, and I didn't walk anybody. It was an improvement."

"He threw the ball real well," said Rowand, who added that Garcia reminded him of the pitcher he knew as a teammate with the White Sox. "He had a good tempo and a good rhythm. It looks like he's rounding into the form we know he has. He was on his game today. They just had a couple of timely hits off him."

Extremely economical, Garcia needed just 70 pitches to get through six innings. Chris Young led off the game with a double, moved to third on a fielder's choice and scored on a sacrifice fly from Orlando Hudson to make it 1-0. The right-hander didn't allow another baserunner until Young doubled in the third.

Garcia would've gone longer, but Manuel was forced to lift him when the Phillies finally reached Davis for the tying runs in the seventh. In the American League, Garcia certainly would have continued.

"I didn't want to take him out," Manuel said.

The seventh played a lot like the eighth, in that Philadelphia tied the game only to fell behind again, this time as a result of Antonio Alfonseca. After Alfonseca allowed the D-backs to retake the lead, the Phillies tied it off Lyon on back-to-back, two-out doubles by Rowand and Wes Helms.

The loss in the opener means the Phillies must win Tuesday and Wednesday to finish 5-5 on this 10-game road trip, and the Phillies refuse to let these close ones get to them.

"It's a battle," said Abraham Nunez, who had three hits. "It's going to happen. Today was one of those days. We'll have good days."

The bullpen could use a few of those.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.