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Phinally: Philadelphia wins World Series

PHILADELPHIA -- They may call this the City of Brotherly Love, but you never would know it by all those baseball cynics who said it would be a cold day when the Phillies would win another World Series.

Crucial out at the plate
Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz tags out Tampa Bay Rays' Jason Bartlett as he tries to score from second on a single by Akinori Iwamura during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series in Philadelphia tonight. It turned out to be a huge play; the Phillies won 4-3 to win the Series. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PHILADELPHIA -- They may call this the City of Brotherly Love, but you never would know it by all those baseball cynics who said it would be a cold day when the Phillies would win another World Series.

But it happened on a wind-swept Wednesday night with the wind chill in the 30s. The Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 to claim a championship 28 years -- including two improbably long days -- in the making.

For long-doubting Philadelphia fans, it was seemingly an eternity in coming. The club's second World Series title in more than a century finally tied them with the Chicago Cubs, not to mention the Florida Marlins.

And it was done in the most unusual ways, as the final innings were played two days after Game 5 was suspended because of rain in the middle of the sixth inning Monday night.

"It's over," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said of the perceived long drought, which was short in comparison to the 100 years Cubs fans and their descendants have waited.


"I always thought we would win a World Series," manager Charlie Manuel said, telling the 45,000 screaming fans, "This is for Philadelphia."

The game ended, fittingly, with reliever Brad Lidge getting the final out when he fanned pinch hitter Eric Hinske. He had been on the losing end of the 2005 Series when the White Sox swept the Astros.

"Honestly, for me it was never about that, it was about winning it for this city, this team," he said afterward. "It's so incredible. . . . I couldn't be happier now."

It was Lidge's seventh postseason save, to go with an unblemished 41 in the regular season, as the Phillies finished with an 88-0 record in games they were leading after the eighth inning.

The Phillies will be honored with a parade later this week, like the one that Jamie Moyer skipped school for after the franchise won the Series in 1980.

"It's emotional, a dream come true," said Moyer, who grew up not far from Philadelphia. "We loved to win it in our own ballpark."

The game resumed 46 hours after it was stopped in a downpour tied 2-2, with Geoff Jenkins batting for starter Cole Hamels.

Grant Balfour, who recorded the final three outs Monday, was back on the mound for the Rays and Jenkins greeted him with a booming double to right-center field. Leadoff hitter Rollins then sacrificed Jenkins to third and he scored on Jayson Werth's bloop single over a drawn-in infield. Second baseman Akinori Iwamura almost caught Werth's popup with his back to the infield but it bounced off his glove.


Rocco Baldelli immediately got that run back with a homer into the left-field seats off Ryan Madson in the seventh inning, costing Hamels the victory, even though he didn't throw a pitch Wednesday. Hamels would have become the first pitcher in postseason history to win five games as a starter, but he still was named the Series MVP.

The Rays took a gamble on scoring a second run in that seventh inning and failed because of second baseman Chase Utley's head's-up play. Jason Bartlett was on second with two outs when Iwamura grounded a ball up the middle. Utley fielded it, faked a throw to first and then fired home as Bartlett rounded third in full stride. The ball arrived at the plate just in time for catcher Carlos Ruiz to tag a sliding Bartlett.

The Phils retook the lead in the seventh when Pat Burrell led off with his first hit of the Series, a double. Pinch-runner Eric Bruntlett sprinted to third on Shane Victorino's ground out to second and scored on Pedro Feliz's single through the middle off Chad Bradford.

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