By Julie Glass
Jamie Moyer set the Rays down in the first inning despite walking Carlos Pena. The Phillies offense would be quick to give Moyer a lead in the bottom of the first inning. After Jimmy Rollins lead off the inning with a single Chase Utley later brought Rollins home on a ground out.
Just before the seventh inning stretch though Moyer got into a bit of trouble. Carl Crawford hit a successful bunt for a single to lead off, although replays show that Moyer got the ball to Howard in time for the out.
Dioner Navarro followed with a double to left field to put the lead off runners in scoring position. Gabe Gross’s ground out scored Crawford, cutting the Phillies lead to two runs.
Chad Durbin came in to reliever Moyer, but a Jason Bartlett ground out scored Navarro to trim the lead down to one run. Durbin got the Phillies out of the inning though with that small lead.
As had become the standard, Ryan Madson entered the game to set the game up for a Brad Lidge save. Clinging to a one run lead things were getting tense at Citizens Bank Park for the fans.
B.J. Upton was the lead off batter and Madson failed to put him away. Upton hit a ground ball to Rollins on a 3-2 pitch, and Rollins double clutched the ball and didn’t get the ball to first in time.
With American League rookie of the year Evan Longoria up the Rays were seeking to take over the momentum in the game. On Madson’s first pitch to Longoria the speedy Upton stole second base.
On the very next pitch Upton then attempted to steal third base. Ruiz’s throw got past third basemen Pedro Feliz though and Upton raced home to tie the game at four runs apiece. The Rays seemingly had taken the game over, but they still had to take a lead, which they failed to do in the eighth inning.
Jayson Werth looked to give the Phillies the lead right back in the bottom of the eighth and drew a lead off walk. Werth took off and stole second base himself with Utley up to bat. Utley then struck out and Howard came up to the plate and Phillies fans were feeling good. But then Werth was picked off at second base and Howard struck out to end the inning.
After J.C. Romero pitched a perfect ninth inning it was up to the unsung heroes of the Phillies offense to put an end to game three.
Eric Bruntlett, who had replaced Burrell in the seventh inning in left field for defensive purposes, lead off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Bruntlett took off to second base on a wild pitch by Rays reliever Grant Balfour, and then reached third base on an error on the throw to second.
The winning run was now ninety feet away with nobody out. The Rays decided to intentionally walk Shane Victorino and pinch hitter Greg Dobbs to load the bases and setting up a force out at home.
Up stepped Ruiz, who had already hit a home run in the game. On a 2-2 pitch Ruiz hit a chopper down the third base line and Longoria could not field the ball clean enough to get a decent toss home to get Bruntlett. The Phillies walked off with the thrilling game three victory late into the night.
With the win the Phillies took a 2-1 series lead and felt good about their chances of wrapping things up at home. The Phillies had not lost a post season game at home through the first two rounds.