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PHI@ARI: Victorino rips a three-run homer to left

PHOENIX -- So this is where the Phillies are a little less than three weeks into the season:

Morale boosters.

They had been thrashed and bloodied for eight innings Monday in a 9-5 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Kyle Kendrick, who started in place of injured left-hander Cliff Lee, allowed 11 hits and seven runs in three-plus innings, making him just the fourth Phillies starter since 1918 to allow 11 or more hits and seven or more earned runs in three or fewer innings. The offense complemented Kendrick's effort, scattering just five hits through eight innings to put the Phillies in line for their third shutout loss in 10 games.

"That's three games in a row we haven't played too good," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Tonight was tough."

But the Phillies left the ballpark clinging to the five runs they scored in the ninth inning.

They were meaningless runs against D-backs left-hander Joe Paterson, who entered the night with a 20.25 ERA in five appearances. But Manuel seemed sincere when asked whether he looked at those runs as garbage-time runs against a struggling pitcher or something they desperately needed regardless of the situation, considering the offense had scored two or fewer runs in 10 of the first 17 games.

"It's better for us to score those runs," Manuel said. "That's a morale thing. It's a morale booster, definitely. It shows we didn't quit, hung in there, and we started hitting some balls hard. It's the first time we've hit some balls hard in I don't know how many days. We hit some balls hard that inning. That's the first time in quite a while that I've seen us hit balls that hard."

Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino hit a three-run home run to left field to make it 9-4.

Incredibly, it was the first time this season the Phillies hit a home run with runners on base.

"There was definitely some excitement," Victorino said. "I've always said that. With winning comes excitement. When you lose, it's no fun. When you're not playing up to your capabilities, it's frustrating. I think ultimately we're a professional team. We've been here before. We understand what we need to take on and the challenge that's ahead of us."

Carlos Ruiz followed Victorino with a home run to right-center field. It was the first time this season the Phillies hit back-to-back home runs.

"I'd rather see us go out that way than just 1-2-3 because we definitely need some hits and some positive reinforcement and everything," Manuel said. "We need to stay with it and we need to play better."

But it still was the Phillies' third consecutive loss to drop to 7-10. They are 3-5 on their 10-game road trip through San Francisco, San Diego and Arizona.

The five ninth-inning runs only made the game look relatively close, which it wasn't. Kendrick allowed four runs in the first inning and two runs in the second inning to hand the D-backs a 6-0 lead.

"Balls were down the middle, that's what happens," Kendrick said. "I haven't looked back at the film yet. I think I made some good pitches that they hit, but most of them were hanging balls right down the middle. That was really it. They hit me. They swung the bats well, but I wasn't very good."

Said D-backs left fielder Jason Kubel: "We put good swings on the ball all day and we were just waiting for good pitches to hit and we got them."

D-backs left-hander Wade Miley allowed just two hits and one walk in six scoreless innings. He struck out seven. Phillies second baseman Freddy Galvis doubled with one out in the third inning to pick up the Phillies' first hit. Galvis, who had only 121 at-bats above Double-A Reading before this season, is tied with Ruiz with a team-leading five extra-base hits.

John Mayberry Jr., who entered the game hitting .175 with just one extra-base hit, hit a two-out double to left field in the fifth for the team's second hit. Pete Orr tried to bowl over Arizona catcher Miguel Montero on a play at the plate in the eighth inning, but Montero held onto the ball.

It was 9-0 at that point, looking like the Phillies' worst loss since July 16, 2011, when they lost 11-2 to the Mets. But then the Phillies scored those five ninth-inning runs.

"We're going to take that as a positive," Victorino said. Comments