Down six, the Philadelphia Phillies kept the faith. Some luck didn't hurt either.
Wes Helms hit a two-out, two-run double in the 11th inning, and the Phillies came back to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-6 on Sunday. The Phillies needed five runs in the ninth -- including three off Brewers closer Francisco Cordero, two on a fielding error by Ryan Braun -- just to tie the game and get it to extra innings.
"We were very lucky," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I feel like definitely we had some luck there at the end. They tattooed some balls really hard there at the end, and we were lucky to stay in there and win the game."
Helms' hit in the 11th scored Ryan Howard, who had walked, and Aaron Rowand, who had singled off reliever Manny Parra (0-1).
The loss shrunk Milwaukee's lead in the NL Central to a half-game over the Chicago Cubs. The Phillies moved within 4 1/2 games of the New York Mets in the NL East. The Cubs played the Mets Sunday night in Chicago.
Brett Myers (2-3) pitched 1 1/3 innings to get the win, and Jose Mesa pitched the 11th for his first save of the season.
"What a game," Myers said. "It was going to be a bad flight home, period, being down 6-1. And we did it against probably the best closer in the National League for this season. That just speaks volumes for this team and the kind of heart they have."
The victory came one night after Milwaukee came back from a 5-1 deficit to beat the Phillies with a two-run homer by Prince Fielder in the eighth. Corey Hart robbed Tadahito Iguchi of a game-tying homer in that one, and on Sunday Rowand robbed Braun of a home run in the 11th to help preserve the win.
Still, Milwaukee loaded the bases with two outs in the 11th before Craig Counsell lined out to end it.
Braun homered in the fifth to become the fastest to reach 20 career home runs in Brewers history. He has 20 home runs and 53 RBIs in 64 games since the Brewers purchased his contract from Triple-A Nashville on May 24. He is the fastest to 20 career home runs since Albert Pujols hit his 20th home run in his 63rd game in 2001. Braun also tripled in the sixth.
Jenkins had four hits and three RBIs for Milwaukee.
Cordero recorded his first blown save at home this season -- and sixth in 40 chances overall -- as the Phillies scored five runs in the ninth to tie it.
Jayson Werth, the second batter in the ninth, hit a two-run homer off Matt Wise, who was then replaced by Cordero.
Cordero got two outs before loading the bases on two walks and a single. He then hit Howard with a pitch to force in a run, making it 6-4. Rowand, next up, hit a ground ball to Braun, who let the ball get under his glove into left field for an error. The ball was originally scored a hit but changed after the game. Cordero retired Helms to end the inning.
"Any loss is frustrating. It was bad tonight," Cordero said. "We were not able to hold onto the lead. This is the way it is sometimes. We're not pitching against little kids, we're pitching against big league hitters."
Brewers manager Ned Yost said he was hesitant to use Cordero for a third straight day. Helms noticed the difference.
"Cordero wasn't himself today, and we worked good at-bats off him," he said. "It wasn't really the big homer that beat him. We worked a win."
Helms made sure of it in the 11th, as the former Brewer silenced the booing fans.
"That is just the nature of this city," said Helms, who played in Milwaukee from 2003 to 2005. "They do it to every player that comes back that used to play here.
"I think fans don't realize that actually pumps a player up, and it makes me want to beat them."
The blown save spoiled a good outing from starter Jeff Suppan, who was seeking his first win since June 22. He gave up one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking one.
Phillies starter Adam Eaton gave up four of the six runs he allowed in the first inning. In 4 1-3 innings, he gave up nine hits and three walks.
Suppan was in control early. He did not allow a runner past second base in the first five innings but ran into some trouble in the sixth, when Rowand's RBI single cut the lead to 6-1.
The Brewers jumped on Eaton early, with their four first-inning runs coming on three straight two-out doubles -- all to the opposite field. That included a two-run double by Jenkins.
Jenkins also had an RBI single in the fifth to make it 6-0.
Burrell singled in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, tying his career high.
"Wins like this can start your momentum," Rowand said. "We'll try and take this into the off day and go into that day on a good note."