Victorino says yes to victory


POSTED: Saturday, April 25, 2009

MIAMI » Facing a wild Matt Lindstrom in the ninth inning, Shane Victorino wanted to avoid taking a 98-mph fastball in the ribs.

The St. Anthony graduate from Maui hit a game-deciding grand slam instead.

Victorino's two-out homer highlighted a seven-run rally in the ninth yesterday against closer Lindstrom, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Florida Marlins 7-3.

The Marlins took a three-hitter into the ninth and were two outs from a 3-0 victory when pinch hitter Matt Stairs singled home the Phillies' first run. Lindstrom walked in a run before Victorino hit his second homer of the year on a 2-1 pitch.

Victorino's only other grand slam came in the playoffs last year to beat Milwaukee and CC Sabathia. How did the homers compare?

“;They're both big,”; Victorino said. “;A home run is a home run for a little guy like me. It's not like I hit many.”;

The Marlins still own the best record in the NL at 11-5, but they have lost four games in a row and fell to 8-1 when they score first.

“;It's a deflating feeling, especially for the guys that worked so hard the whole game, to come in there and blow it,”; Lindstrom said. “;This is going to be a test for me.”;

Dan Uggla hit a three-run homer with two out in the first off Brett Myers for Florida's only runs. The Phillies have given up at least one homer in all 15 games, extending a major league record to start the season.

The game drew 29,032 spectators, including 1,540 dogs, on Bark in the Park Night, and it was a ruff one for the hard-throwing Lindstrom. The Phillies had totaled five hits and one run over a 17-inning stretch when they snapped the slump against him in the ninth.

Jayson Werth doubled with one out, and after a walk, Stairs singled. Lou Marson walked to load the bases, and after a strikeout, Jimmy Rollins walked to force in a run.

Lindstrom went to 1-1 on Victorino, then backed him off the plate with an inside fastball.

“;I said, 'OK, let me not get hit in my ribs, but somewhere else,”;' Victorino said. “;I'm just trying to get a hit, walk, whatever.”;

The next pitch was another fastball, and when Victorino pulled it into the right-field stands, Lindstrom (1-1) was showered with boos. They grew louder five pitches later when Chase Utley also homered.

Lindstrom, who became the Marlins' closer in September, gave up four hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning and blew a save for the second time in five chances. His ERA rose from 1.50 to 9.45.