PHILADELPHIA – Phillies fans will have plenty to discuss during the All Star break.
John Mayberry Jr. made sure Sunday afternoon that the talk will be mostly positive.
Maryberry knocked in the winning run with a single up the middle in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Phillies defeated the Chicago White Sox 4-3 in 10 innings before 40,151 fans at Citizens Bank Park in the final game before the four-day All Star break . Chase Utley scored the winning run and began the winning rally with a leadoff double. The White Sox and Phillies combined to play 34 innings in the three-game series.
The Phillies (48-48) are .500 for the first time since they were 31-31 on June 7. Sunday’s win completed a 10-game homestand that saw Philadelphia finish 7-3. The Phillies have won four straight series. They trail the first place Atlanta Braves by 6.5 games in the National League East.
A loss Sunday would have soured many fans on the Phillies, especially since Philadelphia seemed headed for a comfortable win. The Phillies led 3-0 after six innings and began the ninth inning with a 3-2 lead.
But Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon allowed a two-out , RBI single to White Sox catcher Josh Phegly, who came to the plate with a .214 hitter average.
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins laid face down on the grass as Phegly’s single rolled into center field. The fans groaned.
The blown save wasted an oustanding effort from pitcher Cole Hamels, who allowed two runs in eight innings and even knocked in a run with an RBI single.
But even as the Phillies win their injuries continue to mount.
The Phillies played Sunday without center fielder who broke his right ankle Saturday afternoon when he fouled a ball off his foot.
The Phillies placed Ryan Howard on the disabled list with a knee injury last weekend. Roy Halladay has been out since May after shoulder surgery.
Even with the injuries and especially after the 7-3 homestand, the Phillies believe they’re contenders.
Before the homestand began, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the 10-game stretch would be referendum on the team’s future.
There has been plenty of debate among the fans and media about whether the Phillies should be buyers or sellers at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
The Phillies want to add to their team. They’re looking for relievers and with Revere hurt – a center fielder.
“We’re in the buy mode,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.