PITTSBURGH -- The Phillies' offense had been scuffling heading into Sunday's finale against the Pirates, and in the fourth inning, it appeared they were out of luck as well due to an unusual play before they bounced back to win, 7-3.
The Phillies cut the Pirates' lead to 2-1 in the top of the fourth, when Chase Utley drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ryan Howard drew a walk, and both runners advanced on a passed ball. Utley then scored on a sacrifice fly by Raul Ibanez.
But the Phillies could have scored more than the one run in the frame. Domonic Brown's single hit second-base umpire Chad Fairchild. It was ruled a dead ball, preventing a run from scoring and instead loading the bases. Wilson Valdez then grounded into an inning-ending double play.
"I've never seen anything like it," Pirates second baseman Neil Walker said. "It worked in our favor, didn't it? I knew the guy from first couldn't get to third, but I didn't know the guy from third couldn't score. That was new to me."
Even though it was the correct call, the Phillies weren't happy.
"It's a dead ball when it hits him, but at the same time, it's tough to swallow," Phils manager Charlie Manuel said. "If he's behind the infielder and the ball hits him, it's in play, but if he's in front of the infielder and the ball hits him, it's automatically dead."
The Phillies, however, recovered in the fifth. They scored on Ryan Howard's sac fly -- the result of a 13-pitch at-bat against Pirates reliever Chris Resop -- to tie the game at 2, and Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to push the go-ahead run across the plate. Philadelphia added a run apiece in the sixth and eighth, plus two in the ninth for insurance.
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.