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Ruiz's hustle pays off in Phillies' 10-inning win
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LOS ANGELES – Carlos Ruiz smiled and thought back to his minor league days.

“They always told you, ‘Run hard every time. You never know,’” Ruiz said late Tuesday night.

Just a few minutes earlier, Ruiz popped a ball up to left field with one out in the 10th inning of a tie game. He was so frustrated by the pop up that he spiked his bat into the grass as he broke into a sprint to first base.

Run hard. You never know.

Ruiz sprinted around first base and looked toward left field. He saw his pop up carom off Carl Crawford’s glove and fall to the ground. Running hard paid off as Ruiz was safe at second with the potential go-ahead run.

One batter later, Ruiz became the go-ahead run. He chugged home on Domonic Brown’s gap-splitting double. The run stood up as the game-winner in the Phillies’ 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium (see Instant Replay).

“Chooch hustled all the way and Domonic had a big double,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “It was a good win all the way around.”

Suddenly, a road trip that started off with two losses (by a combined score of 15-2) in Colorado isn’t looking so bad. The Phillies have won three in a row, including two straight over the NL West-leading Dodgers. They are 3-2 on the trip and 10-10 overall as Cole Hamels comes off the disabled list to make his season debut Wednesday night.

“We’ve gotten back to .500 and the guys played hard to do it,” Sandberg said. “We have Cole coming back. That’s a bonus.”

Brown’s go-ahead hit was just the Phillies’ second of the night in 14 chances with a runner in scoring position. The Phils left 11 men on base and a bunch of them in the early innings. They had a runner thrown out at the plate in the fourth inning on a failed contact play and another runner thrown out on a muffed hit-and-run attempt in the eighth.

Otherwise, the Phils played a pretty solid game. A.J. Burnett -- 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball -- was excellent on the mound and the bullpen was strong. Jake Diekman, Mike Adams, Antonio Bastardo and Jonathan Papelbon combined on 3½ scoreless innings. Bastardo struck out two with a runner on base to end the ninth and send the game to extra innings, where Ruiz’s hustle helped deliver the Phils the win.

There was another noteworthy hustle play in the game. The Dodgers tied the game at 2-2 on a two-out RBI single by Justin Turner in the seventh. The hit delivered Dee Gordon from third after he had put on a speed clinic. Gordon turned a ground-ball base hit by second baseman Freddy Galvis into a hustle double. He then stole third base.

Burnett has pitched 13 2/3 innings over his last two starts and allowed just two runs and three walks. Not bad for a guy pitching with a hernia.

“I try to block it out,” Burnett said. “I don’t even want to talk about it. It’s hit or miss. It comes and goes. It’s just uncomfortable. No real pain. But I’m here to play the game. I’m going to pitch with it. I’m going to do everything I can.”

Burnett had just four hits in 59 at-bats with Pittsburgh last season. He had three hits in three at-bats Monday night.

“I got lucky,” he said.