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Garcia saves day, picks up Utley

Phillies reliever whiffs pair with tying run on third; starter O'Sullivan, 'pen shut Orioles down

PHILADELPHIA -- Chase Utley airmailed a ball into left field in the seventh inning Thursday at Citizens Bank Park, which looked like the opening the Orioles needed to send the Phillies to their 10th consecutive loss.

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Utley's error put runners at the corners with one out. .

Seven pitches, six sliders, all strikes.

Game over.

"That was game saving, the moment of the game," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.

"I was just throwing whatever Chooch [Carlos Ruiz] was calling," Garcia said. "He was calling slider, so I was throwing it. It was working, so why change it?"

Garcia pitched in the middle of some fine pitching performances against the Orioles, who scored 29 runs in the three previous days against the Phillies. Sean O'Sullivan got things started, allowing four hits, one run, two walks and struck out a career-high seven in five innings.

Video: [email protected]: O'Sullivan fans a career-high seven batters

He threw just 80 pitches, but Sandberg decided O'Sullivan had done enough.

"His most was 95 to 98 [pitches], third time through the lineup," Sandberg said, explaining his decision. "And also with the offense, we're a double and a single away from a run, so we took a chance."

"I was lobbying to try and go back out, but that decision is not mine to make," O'Sullivan said.

Jake Diekman and Ken Giles sandwiched Garcia's effort with scoreless innings and Jonathan Papelbon picked up his 13th save with a perfect ninth. It was just his second save opportunity since May 20.

Papelbon is a candidate to be traded before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, although he said it is not on his mind.

"When is it?" he said. "I don't know when it is. I don't really worry about none of that."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
Read More: Philadelphia Phillies, Ken Giles, Sean O'Sullivan, Jake Diekman, Jonathan Papelbon, Luis Garcia