PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are still in the midst of their longest homestand of the season.
If it feels longer, that's only because the first eight of 10 straight games at Citizens Bank Park before the All-Star break have nearly all included some combination of rain delays, fireworks displays and extra innings.
The latter two made Friday another endless night in South Philadelphia. But Jayson Werth also made it a winning night for the sell-out crowd of 45,028, patient Phillies fans.
Two batters after little-used reserve So Taguchi led off with a single, Werth dumped a run-scoring single to right as the Phillies outlasted the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 in 12 innings.
"It lasted longer than it should, but it was good," Werth said. "I'm happy to get us the win and get us out of here."
The Phillies came painstakingly close to ending four-hour, three-minute game in nearly every inning before the pivotal 12th.
They stranded two runners in the ninth, again in the 10th, and for a third straight time with a chance to end the game in the 11th. The Phillies left a total of 14 runners on base Friday.
But while the offense failed to come up with a timely hit, the weary bullpen was up for a battle of attrition. From the ninth inning on, Brad Lidge, Clay Condrey, J.C. Romero and Rudy Seanez held the Diamondbacks to one hit in the final four innings.
"The bullpen was tremendous," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said."
Seanez pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 12th to earn his fourth win of the season.
"I'd be out there as long as they needed me," said the 39-year-old Seanez, whose work was limited this week as he battled a sore back. "Everything happened for us and it worked out great."
The Phillies have now won three in a row after dropping four straight. Another victory today would clinch the team's second straight series win and ensure that the Phillies are still in first place heading into Monday's All-Star break.
"You want to end on a good note, so hopefully we'll continue this and start the second half fresh, ready to roll," Seanez said.
The Phillies may not have even had the opportunity to win the game in extra innings if it wasn't for the Spiderman-like glove work of Shane Victorino.
With one on and two outs in the eighth, Arizona's Alex Romero crushed a pitch from Chad Durbin to dead center. Victorino retreated and leaped at the wall -- but the ball bounced out of his glove.
Although the Diamondbacks scored an insurance run to take a 5-3 lead, Victorino's home run-preventing stab saved what turned out to be a very big run.
"To keep that ball in the yard was huge -- it
was a big difference in the game," Werth said.
A half inning after saving a run with his glove, Victorino added two more with his bat.
With runners on second and third and one out in the bottom of the eighth, and his team trailing 5-3, Victorino drilled a two-run, game-tying triple to right off of hard-throwing Arizona reliever Tony Pena.
Victorino finished 3-for-6 and his now 11-for-33 (.333) on the homestand.
While Werth and Victorino paced the offense late, the Phillies first run came from a familiar source.
Ryan Howard continued a torrid week in his first at bat off Arizona starter Doug Davis. The Phillies first baseman launched the first pitch he saw Friday night into the left field bleachers for his major-league leading 28th home run to put the home team up 1-0.
Howard's home run extended his season-high hitting streak to 14 games. He's hitting .400 (12-for-30) with six home runs and 12 RBIs in the last eight games.
"When he gets going, it seems like the home runs and the numbers just flow," Manuel said.
After Howard's latest blast, the Phils pushed across two more runs for starter Kyle Kendrick with a pair of heads-up base-running plays in the sixth. After Victorino followed a Pedro Feliz walk with a double, Feliz scurried home on a wild pitch.
The home team pushed their lead to 3-0 later in the inning when Carlos Ruiz attempted to steal second, but backtracked before he was tagged to give Victorino enough time to score from third.
Kendrick (8-3, 4.47) pitched six strong innings before running into trouble in the seventh. The second-year right-hander gave up three straight hits to the bottom three hitters in the Diamondbacks lineup to start the frame.
A batter after giving up the third hit, Emilio Bonifacio's game-tying two-run double, Kendrick's work was finished. Manuel summoned rookie left-hander R.J. Swindle from the bullpen.
Swindle, who had never pitched in a major league game before Monday, gave up a go-ahead, RBI single to Stephen Drew, the only batter he would face.
NOTES: Anthony Hewitt, the Phillies first-round pick in last month's First-Year Player draft, made his pro debut Sunday for the Gulf Coast League Phillies. Hewitt finished 0-for-5 with four strikeouts... Adam Eaton (3-7, 5.20) will make his first start since giving up eight runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Mets Monday. Arizona counters with five-time Cy Young award winner Randy Johnson (5-7, 5.18)...Brett Myers, 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts at Triple-A Lehigh Valley since his demotion, is scheduled to start tonight for Double-A Reading against the Akron Aeros at 6:35 p.m.
Visit Ryan Lawrence's Phillies blog at: http://www3.allaroundphilly.com/blogs/delcotimes/ryanl/blog.html