PHILADELPHIA (AP) - It was a storybook moment for John Buck in a nightmarish season for the Florida Marlins.
Buck hit a grand slam and Greg Dobbs had four hits, including two doubles, to lift the struggling Marlins to a 6-5 win over Roy Oswalt and the Philadelphia Phillies Friday night.
``It feels good to be able to come through in a situation like that,' Buck said. ``Against the Phillies, bases loaded, Roy Oswalt, that's the kind of scenario you'll write in a fantasy book.'
Oswalt (6-8) had one of his worst outings of the season in 5 2-3 subpar innings. He matched his career high by allowing 12 hits, as every Marlins position player recorded at least one off the Philadelphia right-hander.
``He made some good pitches but the guys jumped on it. I can't explain it,' Florida manager Jack McKeon said. ``The way we've been hitting we had a hell of a night because we haven't been hitting that well.'
The Marlins (59-72) piled up 14 hits to win for just the fourth time in 21 games, while snapping a five-game losing streak in Philadelphia.
No hit was bigger than Buck's.
After Dobbs, Gaby Sanchez and Mike Cameron led off the sixth with three straight singles, Buck hit an opposite-field grand slam that landed in the first row in right field for his 16th homer of the season to put Florida ahead 6-1.
``I just figured he wasn't going to give in to me, but wasn't going to lay one in there,' Buck said. ``He just happened to leave a slider up, out over the plate.'
Off the bat, Buck knew he'd hit it well enough to score the run from third but wasn't sure it would leave the yard.
``I knew I'd hit it decent,' he said. ``I figured it would at least be deep enough for a sac fly. I didn't think I hit it out, but being down in Miami you forgot what that feels like not having got one and it getting out. (In) Miami, you have to get on one.'
``It was pretty much one bad pitch,' Oswalt said, referring to Buck's homer. ``(It was) a slider that didn't do what I wanted it to do.'
Oswalt was loudly booed in the sixth in a way that was reminiscent of the days when the Phillies lost often at old Veterans Stadium.
Manager Charlie Manuel was cheered when he emerged from the dugout to lift Oswalt, but the pitcher was given encouraging cheers on his way back to the dugout.
``He had trouble getting ahead of hitters,' Manuel said. ``He was crisp but had a hard time getting the ball inside.'
Dobbs, the former Phillie, also had success against Oswalt.
``It wasn't anything (Oswalt) was doing, just kind of the work and preparation I've been doing,' Dobbs said of his success Friday. ``He's historically one of the best pitchers in the game. That staff is full of them, really. If you're going to pick a time to go after a pitch, you don't want to miss. You want to make the most of that. It's a lot fun competing against those guys because they're the best.'
Clay Hensley (2-5) allowed three runs on three hits in 5 2-3 innings to back Florida's hitting. After allowing seven runs on seven hits in 3 2-3 innings in his last start, Hensley focused on improving his mechanics.
``We've been kind of searching for getting mechanics and arm slot in the right spot,' he said. ``I finally feel like I'm in the right position now. Hopefully we can continue this from here on out.'
Wilson Valdez's solo homer in the third was the Phillies' first hit off Hensley and tied the game at 1.
Philadelphia didn't get its second hit until Placido Polanco's two-out single in the sixth. Chase Utley followed with a double down the left-field line to put runners on second and third for Ryan Howard. Hensley was lifted for left-handed reliever Mike Dunn and Howard launched the reliever's second pitch deep to right to pull Philadelphia to 6-4.
``I would've liked the opportunity to finish the inning, but it's not my call,' Hensley said.
The three-run homer gave Howard 99 RBIs for the season, leaving him one shy of reaching 100 for the sixth straight season. Howard averaged 136 RBIs in the previous five years. After Dunn was removed for right-hander Ryan Webb, Hunter Pence followed Howard with an infield single and went to third on John Mayberry Jr.'s double to left-center. But Webb got Carlos Ruiz to pop out to right to end the threat.
``We keep it entertaining, no question about that, every night,' McKeon said. ``Thank God we were able to hold on.'
Notes: The Phillies and Marlins postponed their game scheduled for 7:05 Saturday night due to Hurricane Irene and will make it up on Thursday, Sept. 15 in Philadelphia at a time to be determined. The clubs are still scheduled to play what was supposed to be the first game of a day-night doubleheader at 1:05 Saturday. ... Philadelphia RHP David Herndon pitched a 1 1-3 scoreless innings of relief to extend his career-best scoreless streak to 13 innings. ... Pence went 2 for 4 and has hit safely in 20 of his 24 games with Philadelphia. ... The Phillies' crowd of 45,523 was their 191st straight sellout. Philadelphia RHP Roy Halladay (15-5, 2.56) is scheduled to start for the Phillies against Florida RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-6, 4.01) at 1:05 Saturday afternoon. In nine career starts at Citizens Bank Park, Sanchez is 1-5 with a 7.04 ERA and the Marlins are 1-8 in those games. Halladay, who pitched a perfect game against the Marlins last May, is winless in two starts against Florida this season (0-1, 3.00).
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved