MIAMI (AP) -The sharp grounder in the ninth inning appeared to skip over the third-base bag, a game-winning hit for Gaby Sanchez and the Florida Marlins.
Third-base umpire Bob Davidson saw things differently. He ruled the ball foul, costing the Marlins a walkoff victory, and the Philadelphia Phillies took advantage to win 5-4 in 10 innings Thursday night.
Carlos Ruiz homered leading off the 10th for the Phillies, who completed a three-game series sweep.
Davidson's call left Florida fuming.
``Dreadful,' team owner Jeffrey Loria said.
``That was the worst call I've ever seen in my 30 years of professional baseball,' manager Edwin Rodriguez said. ``That was bad. That ball was a fair ball by six inches.'
Replays indeed showed ball landed inside the foul line behind the base, meaning Sanchez's grounder should have scored Hanley Ramirez from second base. When Davidson ruled the ball foul, Rodriguez argued in vain.
``He was telling me it wasn't even close; it was a foul ball,' Rodriguez said. ``I was telling him to ask for help. He didn't ask for help.'
After watching replays, Davidson insisted he made the correct call.
``I was right on top of it, and it was wide of the bag,' he said. ``What the ball did when it went past me is irrelevant. ... I understand that's the winning run, but in my opinion it was foul.'
Baseball rules state that a ball is foul if it ``bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory.' Davidson said the ball past third base in foul territory and it didn't matter where it landed.
Given a reprieve, Ryan Madson (4-1) struck out Sanchez and Cody Ross to end the inning.
Sanchez shrugged off Davidson's costly ruling.
``Umpires are going to miss calls,' Sanchez said. ``Hitters are going to miss pitches. Pitchers are going to miss location. It's all a part of the game. Things happen.'
Ruiz took advantage of the break, hitting his fifth homer off Will Ohman (0-1). Ruiz also had a two-run double in the sixth.
Brad Lidge gave up a leadoff single in the bottom of the 10th to Mike Stanton, who stole second but was stranded there. Lidge earned his 12th save in 16 chances.
The Marlins went 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position and lost their fourth game in a row.
Roy Oswalt, making his second start for the Phillies since being acquired in a trade with Houston, took a 2-0 lead into the seventh before Florida rallied for a 4-2 lead.
The Phillies scored twice in the ninth to tie the game with none out, then put the brakes on the rally by having three baserunners thrown out. They also stranded 11 runners but earned their seventh sweep of the year and remained two games behind NL East leader Atlanta.
Despite a rash of injuries, the Phillies have won 12 of their past 14 games. They're 3-0 since slugger Ryan Howard went on the disabled list.
``The other day I was talking to my ma, and she asked me about Howard,' Ruiz said. ``I told her we have to keep going and pull everything together. So far, the guys are doing pretty good.'
Philadelphia rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the ninth. Placido Polanco reached to start the inning when shortstop Ramirez made a bad throw for his 14th error this season. Ross Gload singled off Leo Nunez, and a double by Raul Ibanez scored a run. Jayson Werth singled in the tying run.
Then the Phillies self-destructed on the basepaths. Ibanez was caught off third on a grounder and tagged out, Werth was picked off second and Domonic Brown was thrown out trying to steal second.
Oswalt allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings after struggling in his first start for the Phils.
``Getting to know the guys and being around five days now has been a lot better than the first day, when I didn't what to expect,' he said.
Ruiz doubled home the only two runs off Chris Volstad, who went 5 2-3 innings.
``The Phillies battled, and we battled,' Rodriguez said. ``It was a very good game - until that call.'
NOTES: Murphy improved to 5 for 12 as a pinch hitter with seven RBIs. ... Ibanez extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the third. ... Gload went 1 for 5 batting third for first time this year. ... Ramirez went hitless, and since July 2 he's batting .216 (24-111) with two extra-base hits.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved