,PHILADELPHIA -- Although the Dodgers are still in town, it's difficult not to keep tabs on the New York Mets lately at Citizens Bank Park.
Before the Phillies hosted the Dodgers under the lights Sunday night, the Mets' maligned bullpen gave way to another loss.
There was also word that starter John Maine's season could be in doubt, which would put two of New York's top pitchers, including Billy Wagner, on the disabled list.
But as Phillies manager Charlie Manuel warned before the game, you have to take care what's in front of you first. With an opportunity to move on step closer to overtaking the first-place Mets in the National League East, the Phillies took advantage by rallying back to down the Dodgers 5-2 in 11 innings.
Pedro Feliz, who entered the game during a double switch in the seventh inning, was the hero -- twice.
The man known as "Pete Happy" made what remained of of the announced crowd of 43,039 go home happy after midnight with a walk-off, three-run home run off Jason Johnson.
Two innings earlier, with trailing 2-1 and down to their last out, Feliz ripped a game-tying single to right to send the game into extra innings.
Shane Victorino, most likely inspired by his homeland Hawaiian team that won the Little League World Series earlier in the day, also fueled the game-tying and game-winning rallies.
In the ninth, Victorino led off with a single off Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton and scored on Feliz's single.
Victorino wouldn't settle for a single in his next at-bat. Leading off the 11th, the speedy center fielder laced the ball to left.
But as Manny (being Manny) Ramirez casually corralled the ball and tossed it back to the infield, the flyin' Hawaiian didn't land until he slid head first, safely into second. As it turned out, he would have scored if he stayed on first.
The win, the Phillies six in their last seven games, moves them ˆ½ game behind the first-place Mets, who come to town for the final time this season Tuesday.
For the game's first eight innings, a familiar theme was returning to town. No offense. After scoring 17 runs in taking the first two of a four game series with Los Angeles, the Phillies offensive slump reared its ugly head again when they managed just two hits before Pat Burrell singled in the eighth.
Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda took a no-hitter into the fifth. After Carlos Ruiz broke up that bid with a leadoff single, Chase Utley ripped two-out, RBI single to knot the game at 1-1.
The Dodgers scored the night's first run when four straight hitters reached off Joe Blanton in the game's opening inning. With the bases loaded and one out, James Loney laced a single to right.
Blanton kept the damage to a minimum, however, retiring Nomar Garciaparra and Casey Blake to leave the bases loaded.
Blanton, who had allowed 17 hits and eight runs in his previous two starts, held the Dodgers to just four more hits
in five shutout innings after the first.
While the Dodgers offense wasn't exactly helping Citizens Bank Park live up to its reputation as a hitter's park either, they scored enough to stay ahead of the phutile Phils until the ninth. Taking over for Blanton in the seventh, J.C. Romero yielded an infield single to pinch hitter Juan Pierre to begin the seventh inning.
Three batters later, Jeff Kent took a 2-2 pitch from Ryan Madson and dumped it into left field to put the Dodgers up 2-1. Kent, 0-for-8 in the first two games of the series, finished 3-for-6 Sunday.
In the early going, the usual suspects contributed to the offensive (as in not good) performance. Ryan Howard, owner of a .160 average in August, finished 0-for-4, including his major-league leading 170th strikeout.
Rollins ran his season-worst skid to 4-for-48 (.083) and 4-for-46 since his ill-timed "front-runners" comment. After getting plunked in his first at-bat, Jayson Werth struck out in his next three trips to the batter's box.
Howard did lend a helping hand with his glove. Although the first baseman with 14 errors, Howard showed off his athleticism by snagging an important third out with a diving catch.
After Blanton allowed back-to-back, two-out base runners in the sixth, Russell Martin fouled a ball off to no man's land, near the lower box seats between first base and right field. But Howard dashed backward, sprinted toward the ball and nabbed it with a full-extension dive that left him caked in the red clay.
NOTES: Phils top prospect Carlos Carrasco continued to shine at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 21-year-old right-hander was the hard-lucker loser in the IronPigs 8-5 loss to Pawtucket Sunday night. Carrasco allowed two unearned runs in 6 1/3 innings, striking out eight while walking two. In five starts since being promoted from Reading, Carrasco is 1-2 with a 2.10 ERA and has struck out 37 while walking 10 in five starts at Lehigh Valley.