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Phils hit two slams in comeback victory

Phils hit two slams in comeback victory

PHILADELPHIA -- No lead is safe against the Phillies.

Not this season. Not with their powerful lineup. Not with their ability to keep coming back when it seems as if the game is lost.

The Phillies are 10-8. Nine of their 10 wins are of the come-from-behind variety.

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This time, the Phils scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to erase a four-run deficit and turn it into a 13-11 victory over the Nationals before a passionate crowd of 41,620 on Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

"It was a good old slugfest," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We had a warm day."

With hot bats.

Raul Ibanez capped the comeback with a grand slam -- the eighth of his career -- down the right-field line off Nationals closer Joel Hanrahan with two outs in the eighth to propel the Phillies to their fourth straight win.

"I knew I hit it far and I was just hoping it wouldn't hook out," Ibanez said. "I was trying to go short with my swing and drive in the runner from second base. That was my mind-set."

Ryan Howard hit a grand slam in the fifth, the sixth of his career, which tied the game at 6.

"With this team, we're never out of it," Howard said. "We have the type of hitters from top to bottom in our lineup who can produce. We're never out of a game. When we got down early, we knew we could come back."

The Phils quickly fell behind, 6-2, thanks to a pair of home runs by Ryan Zimmerman. Both shots -- 436 and 451 feet -- came against Joe Blanton, who lasted only 4 1/3 innings and gave up eight hits and six earned runs.

Zimmerman, who extended his hitting streak to 16, hit a two-run homer in the third and a solo shot in the fifth to put the Nationals ahead, 6-2.

Blanton said he left too many pitches in the middle of the zone.

"Where do we start?" Blanton said. "I was terrible. I pretty much stunk. I was missing my spots and getting too much of the plate. It was probably the worst start I've had here."

After consecutive singles by Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley, Howard followed in the bottom of the fifth with a booming grand slam to center. It was Howard's sixth career grand slam and his fourth homer of the season.

Howard's six grand slams tie him with Bobby Abreu, Willie Jones, Chuck Klein and Cy Williams for the second-most in franchise history. Mike Schmidt is first with seven.

"I got a good pitch to hit on my grand slam," Howard said. "It was out and over the plate and I was able to extend my arms."

Howard came up with the bases loaded again in the sixth and ripped a line drive right at first baseman Nick Johnson, who doubled Utley off first to end the inning. Earlier in the frame, Rollins looped a double down the left-field line, scoring Lou Marson to even the game at 7.

Johnson added a two-run blast off Scott Eyre in the eighth to give the Nationals a 9-7 advantage. After Zimmerman walked, Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer off Eyre in nearly the same spot in the right-field bleachers.

Eyre faced five batters and allowed three walks and two homers. He was then pulled for J.A. Happ.

The Phillies didn't go away quietly as Victorino hit a sacrifice fly and Utley singled home Rollins in the eighth, cutting the lead to 11-9 before Ibanez's heroics.

Last season, Philadelphia finished sixth among National League teams with 39 come-from-behind wins. In 2007, the Phils led the Majors with 48 comeback victories.

They're on pace to snap that record with one remarkable comeback after another thus far in 2009.

"I feel really blessed to be a part of this club," Ibanez said. "It's easily the most resilient club I've ever been a part of. We have no quit in us. We work well together."

Andy Jasner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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