Phils stage rally, reclaim NL East lead

Phils stage rally, reclaim NL East lead

PHILADELPHIA -- Charlie Manuel had a feeling that Geoff Jenkins was the best choice to pinch-hit in the sixth inning.

The Phillies manager saw Marlins reliever Doug Waechter warming up before the inning began, and noticed that the right-hander tended to keep his pitches down. Manuel liked Jenkins' chances against that type of hurler.

It turned out to be the perfect fit for Jenkins. He launched a pinch-hit two-run home run into the right-field seats that resurrected the Phils' offense on its way to a come-from-behind 7-5 victory over the Marlins on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

Manuel couldn't have been too comfortable as he watched Jenkins walk to the plate in the sixth. The outfielder had been hitless in nine pinch-hit at-bats this season.

"[There's] a good chance there's going to be one pitch in that sequence that's going to be on the plate," Jenkins said. "You can't miss it."

Jenkins smiled when told of Manuel's strategy to pit him against Waechter.

"We just go up there when he tells us," Jenkins said. "But there's going to be situations when we come off the bench that we have to come up big."

The stadium's largest crowd of the season -- 45,312 -- watched the Phillies fall into a 5-1 hole by the third inning, only to charge back, regaining a half-game edge over the Marlins for first place in the National League East.

The Phils showed flickers of offense in Sunday's early innings while the Marlins built their lead. Ryan Howard put Philadelphia ahead, 1-0, in the first inning when he singled up the middle to score Chase Utley from second base.

But on the first pitch of the second, Mike Jacobs tied the game when he hit Jamie Moyer's first-pitch 80-mph fastball off the base of the second deck in right field.

That wasn't the last time Moyer would hear from Jacobs.

The Marlins took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on a Jorge Cantu RBI single that scored Hanley Ramirez. Later in the inning, Jacbos stepped into the batter's box with two men on base.

Moyer started him off again with an 80-mph fastball. Again, Jacobs deposited the ball in the right-field seats, giving the Marlins a 5-1 lead.

"Actually, he should have had a home run in his third at-bat, too," Moyer said. "I threw him the same pitch all three times in the same location."

Still, the Phillies had given Moyer 42 runs of support in his past three starts. They weren't about to leave their veteran lefty hanging.

The Phillies started to loosen the Marlins' grip with two runs in the third. Jimmy Rollins scored from third on an error by pitcher Andrew Miller. Utley followed with his Major League-leading 20th home run. The second baseman has now homered in four consecutive games and six out of the past seven.

After Jenkins tied the game in the sixth, Pat Burrell drove in Howard and Shane Victorino with a two-out double to left field in the seventh inning.

Despite facing an early four-run deficit, Moyer -- who improved to 8-0 against the Marlins -- battled through seven innings, striking out three and walking none to earn his team-leading sixth win.

"If you can keep it within three, four, five runs in this ballpark," Moyer said, "you have a chance."

Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.