Ryan Howard hit a two-run double with
two outs in the ninth inning and scored on Jayson Werth's single as
Philadelphia rallied past the Colorado Rockies 5-4 Monday night to
reach the NL championship series.
Brad Lidge earned his second
consecutive save, once again retiring cleanup batter Troy Tulowitzki
with two on to end it. Tulowitzki, who flied out to conclude Game 3,
struck out this time and the Phillies celebrated on the infield at
chilly Coors Field before retreating to the clubhouse to spray
Next, the World Series champions play
Thursday night against Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium in an NLCS rematch
from last season. This marked the fourth straight year that none of
baseball's first-round series went to a winner-take-all Game 5.
After Dexter Fowler's hurdle of Utley
sparked Colorado's three-run rally in the eighth, Howard and the
Phillies responded with a three-run rally of their own in the ninth
against closer Huston Street.
The Rockies looked as though they
were going to send the series back to Philadelphia when Yorvit
Torrealba's two-run double broke a 2-all tie in the bottom of the
eighth. That came after Fowler scored the tying run on pinch-hitter
Jason Giambi's two-out single off Ryan Madson.
Fowler hurdled Utley, who stepped
into the basepath to field Todd Helton's slow grounder, and his quick
flip to second base was wide right and mishandled for an error by
shortstop Jimmy Rollins.
That put two on for Tulowitzki, and
Madson relieved starter Cliff Lee in a double-switch that also brought
in left fielder Ben Francisco to replace Raul Ibanez.
It paid an immediate dividend when
Francisco raced in and made a diving catch of Tulowitzki's bloop to
left for the second out. But Francisco couldn't get to Giambi's single
fast enough to keep Fowler from scoring the tying run from second base.
Then, Torrealba sent a two-run double to the gap in right-center for a 4-2 Rockies lead.
Street, who was 35 of 37 on save
chances but blew one in the ninth in Game 3 when he allowed Howard's
sacrifice fly to break a 5-all tie, came in and got a quick out before
things fell apart again.