Just when the Philadelphia Phillies' quiet bats woke up, a bullpen that had been reliable so far this postseason couldn't hold on.
Chad Durbin blew the lead in the sixth inning and usual starter Roy Oswalt gave up the winning run on Juan Uribe's sacrifice fly in the ninth as the Phillies fell 6-5 to the San Francisco Giants in Game 4 of the NL championship series on Wednesday night.
Instead of being right back in the series with ace Roy Halladay set to take the mound Thursday night, the Phillies trail 3-1 and need a win just to send the series switched back to Philadelphia for the final two games.
The two-time defending NL champs used five relievers before manager Charlie Manuel called on Oswalt, who had made only 13 regular-season relief appearances in 10 seasons and one in his
previous 10 playoff games.
Oswalt's only other postseason relief outing came in Game 7 of the 2004 NLCS when he pitched two innings in relief of Roger Clemens in a 5-2 loss to St. Louis.
Manuel went with Oswalt instead of Brad Lidge most likely because he was holding his closer back in case the Phillies took the lead in the top half of an extra inning. That never happened.
Oswalt, who shut down the Giants in a Game 2 masterpiece, allowed one-out singles to Aubrey Huff and rookie Buster Posey that put runners on first and third. Uribe followed with a fly ball to
deep left and Huff slid in safely.
Oswalt caught Ben Francisco's throw in disgust and had to meander through a sea of celebrating Giants to get off the field.
Lidge likely would have pitched the ninth had Durbin been able to preserve the lead in the sixth.
The Phillies had gone 14 straight innings without a run until scoring four in the fifth, keyed by Placido Polanco's two-run double. Starter Joe Blanton gave up a run in the bottom half before Jose Contreras preserved the 4-3 lead by striking out Posey to extend the scoreless streak for Philadelphia's relievers to 9 1-3 innings this postseason.
The bullpen's spotless stretch ended with Durbin on the mound in the sixth. He walked Pat Burrell to lead off the inning - the second straight frame that a leadoff walk led to a San Francisco run. Phillies nemesis Cody Ross followed a double, putting runners on second and third with his fourth extra-base hit of the series.
With no one warming in the Philadelphia bullpen, Sandoval lined a ball down the right-field line that was ruled foul by first-base umpire Jeff Nelson to the disgust of the Giants.
It ended up not mattering when, moments later, Durbin allowed Sandoval's double into the gap in left-center that gave the Giants a 5-4 lead.
The Phillies managed to tie it in the eighth on Jayson Werth's double off Sergio Romo but walked off with the loss an inning later.