Final in 10

Series: Game 3 of 3

Philadelphia won 3-0

Game 1: Tuesday, September 21
Philadelphia4Final
Florida2
Game 2: Wednesday, September 22
Philadelphia12Final
Florida4
Game 3: Thursday, September 23
Philadelphia9Final
in 10
Florida8

Phillies 9

(79-73, 42-36 away)

Marlins 8

(79-73, 42-38 home)

7:05 PM ET, September 23, 2004

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

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PHI 2000302101 9 12 1
FLA 1122001010 8 10 1

W: B. Wagner (4-0)

L: A. Benitez (2-2)

S: T. Jones (2)

Rollins homers off Benitez in 10th

MIAMI (AP) -- The Philadelphia Phillies figured out how to win in Florida -- and just about ended the Marlins' hope for defending their World Series title.

Jimmy Rollins homered in the 10th inning, helping Philadelphia complete a three-game sweep of Florida with a 9-8 victory Thursday night.

"We weren't going to come here and roll over," Rollins said of the Phillies, who entered the series winless in 14 games at Pro Player Stadium.

Rollins hit a pitch from Armando Benitez (2-2) over the right-field fence for his 12th homer.

"I was sitting on the bench thinking I want this game to be over," Rollins said. "I said, 'Maybe I have to do it myself."

The three-game sweep lifted the Phillies into a tie with Florida, which has lost four of five, for second place in the NL East. At 79-73, the best both teams can do is tie Atlanta atop the division. The Braves were beaten by Cincinnati 3-2 Thursday.

"Last year, they beat us, they were better than us," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. "This year, they were better than us until this series.

The Marlins and Phillies are seven games behind San Francisco and Chicago in the wild-card race. The Cubs beat Pittsburgh 6-3 and the Giants played Houston later Thursday.

"We have to try to win as many games as we can," Bowa said.

The Marlins, who played their last home game of the regular season, will try to make up the large wild-card deficit with 10 road games.

"Our pride is at stake," Florida manager Jack McKeon said. "We are the defending world champions."

Billy Wagner (4-0), who gave up the tying run in the ninth, earned the win. Todd Jones got three outs for his second save in eight opportunities for Philadelphia.

In the ninth, Juan Encarnacion led off with a double and moved to third on Alex Gonzalez's sacrifice. Juan Pierre then hit a sharp grounder that third baseman David Bell mishandled. Bell's throw was late to first, allowing Encarnacion to score the tying run.

"These are the kinds of games we have with (Florida)," Bowa said. "It's nice to win one."

Gonzalez's throwing error in the eighth allowed the Phillies to go ahead 8-7.

Rollins hit a sharp grounder to second baseman Luis Castillo, who flipped to shortstop Gonzalez covering second and forced Placido Polanco. But in trying to avoid Polanco's hard slide, Gonzalez made an errant throw to first, allowing Rollins to reach and Mike Lieberthal to score from second.

"We just came up short," Pierre said. "They stung last and we couldn't get one last gust."

Chase Utley and Bell hit solo home runs in the seventh inning as the Phillies overcame a four-run deficit to take a 7-6 lead. Utley's leadoff home run off Marlins reliever Guillermo Mota tied the game 6-all and Bell homered with two outs.

But pinch-hitter Lenny Harris tied it with a leadoff homer in the Marlins' half. It was Harris' 193rd pinch hit, extending his major league record.

Jim Thome's three-run home run in the fifth -- his 42nd -- off Marlins starter Josh Beckett cut Florida's lead to 6-5.

"Our pitching wasn't very sharp today," McKeon said. "When you have a lead you have to close it out."

In the third, Miguel Cabrera finished a 13-pitch at-bat against Vicente Padilla with his 30th homer to put the Marlins up 4-2.

The 21-year-old Cabrera became the 14th big leaguer to hit 30 home runs in a season at age 21 or younger.

"Hopefully it's the start of many productive seasons," Cabrera said.

Pierre had a two-run single in the fourth to give Florida a 6-2 lead.

"You'd like to win games like this, the way the guys battled back," McKeon said. "We didn't give up without a fight. We went down to the last out."

Philadelphia took a 2-0 lead in the first on a double-play grounder and Beckett's wild pitch.

"They did their jobs and hit the ball," said Beckett, who left with a 6-5 lead.

Pierre had an RBI single in the bottom half and Gonzalez tied it with a homer in the second.

Game notes


Beckett walked six and struck out seven in five innings. ... Cabrera became the sixth Marlins player to hit 30 or more home runs in a season, joining Gary Sheffield, Mike Lowell, Derrek Lee, Cliff Floyd and Preston Wilson. Sheffield holds the team's single-season mark with 42 homers in 1996. ... Thursday's game attracted 30,208 fans, giving the Marlins a final home-season total of 1,723,105. ... The Phillies won their 14th game of the month, their second best total since 17 in May...Rollins is within two home runs of his single season best of 14 in 2001.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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