The current National League West leaders hope to do the same to Cliff Lee this evening at Citizens Bank Park. Arizona pulled out a 3-2 win last night with a big top of the ninth inning, when Justin Upton and Miguel Montero stroked back-to-back singles off of Halladay. One out later Lyle Overbay plated Upton and pinch-runner Collin Cowgill with a double to deep right-center field for a 3-2 lead.
"[Halladay] made a mistake in my last at-bat," Overbay said after his first start with the D'Backs. "You know you're going to get a pitch to hit and you have to take advantage of it."
J.J. Putz then took the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning and allowed a leadoff walk to Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz then moved to second on a Mike Martinez sacrifice bunt to Putz, and the closer got Ross Gload and Jimmy Rollins swinging to end the game for his 30th save. Josh Collmenter started for the Diamondbacks and pitched well, allowing two runs in 6 2/3 frames with eight strikeouts. Bryan Shaw threw a scoreless eighth for his first-career win.
Overbay finished with three hits and three RBI for Arizona, which has won seven in a row and owns a 3 1/2-game lead over San Francisco for the NL West lead. It also opened a 10-game road trip against the Phillies, Braves and Nationals on a positive note. The D'Backs are 16 games over .500 for the first time since a 79-63 mark on Sept. 7, 2007.
The D'Backs haven't won eight in a row since April 4-12, 2008.
Joe Saunders gets the call for Kirk Gibson's club tonight and he's one game under .500 at 8-9 with a 3.76 ERA in 24 starts. Saunders is 2-1 in his previous four starts and did not record a decision in Thursday's 8-5 win over Houston in which he allowed five runs and 11 hits in six innings.
Saunders, who is 6-4 in 12 road starts in 2011, lost to Philadelphia on April 27 at Chase Field, as he gave up six runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings of an 8-4 setback. The lefty is 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA in three career starts against the Phillies.
Philadelphia entered Tuesday's series opener with 13 wins in 15 tries, but lost for the second time in its last three contests. Halladay was cruising until running into trouble in the ninth and failed to become the NL's first 16-game winner. He struck out 14 batters and yielded eight hits to fall to 15-5 this season.
"It can be a little tougher to swallow sometimes in the ninth," Halladay said on the team's site. "That's the way the game goes. But you definitely feel like it's your responsibility to finish the game there. I didn't do it. I didn't make two good pitches, and it cost me."
Halladay suffered his first home loss since falling to the Brewers on April 19 and has lost 15 complete games in his career. The Phillies had won in each of Halladay's last 10 starts at Citizens Bank Park.
Shane Victorino hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to give the Phillies a 2-1 advantage before Arizona rallied in the top half of the ninth. Halladay added two hits, including a double, and Chase Utley finished 3-for-4 for the Phillies, whose lead atop the NL East was shaved to 7 1/2 games ahead of Atlanta.
Lee, meanwhile, will try to even this series when he toes the rubber for Philadelphia this evening. Lee has won three straight starts and is 10-3 in his previous 13 decisions. He recorded a shutout in a 3-0 win at San Francisco on August 4, then delivered eight scoreless innings in last Tuesday's 2-1 victory in Los Angeles. The lefty struck out 10 batters in that one and owns 29 strikeouts in his last three starts.
Lee lost at Arizona on April 25, when he allowed four runs and five hits in seven innings of a 4-0 defeat. He is 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA in three career starts against the Diamondbacks.
Arizona took two of three matchups with Philadelphia from April 25-27 in the desert, but the Phillies are 10-6 in the past 16 meetings between the teams. The Phils had won seven in a row at home in this series before Tuesday's game and are still a dominant 21-9 versus the NL West this season.