Ruiz swats first career walk-off homer

Ruiz swats first walk-off homer

PHILADELPHIA -- Whether Derrick Turnbow threw a fastball or a slider to Carlos Ruiz is immaterial. What matters is where the ball landed.

That would be the left-field seats, as Ruiz gave the Phillies their latest emotional victory, a 4-3 walk-off win over the National League Central-leading Brewers. In taking the first two games from the Brewers, the Phillies have pulled within a game of the .500 mark.

"How about that Chooch?" manager Charlie Manuel said of his young catcher. "He smoked it and hit it a long way."

Ruiz's feat picked up the Phillies, especially closer Brett Myers, and later earned him his first shaving cream pie -- courtesy of Shane Victorino.

A half-inning earlier, Myers had blown his first save in his fifth chance as Phillies closer when his good friend and former teammate Johnny Estrada drilled a homer to lead off the inning. That deprived Adam Eaton of a win, despite turning in his best and longest outing of the season, a 7 2/3-inning effort in which he allowed two runs -- one earned.

"I'll have to drill him next time," Myers said with a laugh.

Ruiz drilled Turnbow instead. The Brewers' reliever had escaped a jam in the eighth, and got the first two outs of the ninth before dealing with Philadelphia's young catcher. He fired a fastball that Ruiz fouled off, then missed with two sliders. And as he did on Monday, he returned to the fastball, and Ruiz said he was waiting for it.

"I was looking for a fastball after he threw me two sliders," Ruiz said. "I was hoping to get one."

An on-field celebration ensued, as the Phillies mobbed Ruiz at the plate. Myers, seething over "a split that I left up," could relax now that Ruiz had picked him up. Myers deserves some credit, too, for composing himself enough to not let his first blown save turn into his third loss.

"I made a terrible pitch [to Estrada]," he said. "I wanted to go back out there the next inning, but Ruiz screwed that up for me."

Myers followed with a stream of one-liners, from "I had to get my first win somehow" to "It was [Ruiz's] fault for calling that split-finger."

Not taking the bait, Ruiz answered, "He said that was the pitch he wanted to throw, so keep working on your split, OK?"

When asked how many times he would have to bail out Myers, Ruiz said, "As many times as I can."

Philadelphia has now taken two straight over the Brewers, who entered the game with the NL's best record. Not to be forgotten, Greg Dobbs also stayed hot, swatting a homer to put the Phillies up 2-1. The lefty, who's received the bulk of the playing time while Ryan Howard mends, is hitting .600 in his past five games.

Eaton also deserves credit for tossing his second straight quality start and third overall. Though he still has a long way to go, he lowered his ERA to 6.42 with the effort. The right-hander allowed four hits and two walks. A dropped ball by Victorino led to Milwaukee's first run, with Craig Counsell scoring on the play.

Victorino had trouble with the wind, and the ball went off his glove.

"Put a tent on that circus," said Victorino, who was also thrown out twice at the plate, though he insisted he was safe the second time.

Eaton cruised through the first seven innings, having thrown 88 pitches. He then retired the first two Brewers before Prince Fielder curled a homer near the right-field foul pole, pulling the Brewers within a run. But that couldn't undo the fine effort.

"Command-wise, this was definitely my best game," Eaton said. "I think even [the hits] I gave up, I was either even in the count or behind. I was able to stay ahead for the most part, and even when I was behind, I was able to land some offspeed pitches and get back in the count. I'm [keeping the ball] down a lot better than I was."

After the Fielder homer, Manuel immediately called for Myers, who whiffed Bill Hall for the final out of the eighth.

Brewers manager Ned Yost wasn't around to see Estrada's game-tying homer, as he was ejected in the fourth for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Larry Vanover.

Yost wouldn't have liked seeing the pitch from Turnbow. As Ruiz hit it, Turnbow turned and looked in disbelief, as his struggles against Philadelphia continued. The righty has allowed 11 runs in 9 1/3 innings against the Phillies, for a 10.61 ERA.

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