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Must C Clutch: Ibanez delivers a win for the Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- A maroon Astros duffel bag remained in Hunter Pence's locker -- which still doesn't have a name panel bolted above it. His new, red Reebok cleats won't arrive until Tuesday. So to compensate, he had assistant trainer Mark Andersen tape and spray paint over the Nikes that Pence has had to wear, which caused grass to stick when playing the field.

"It took forever," Pence said of the project. "But they're more comfortable."

There are still adjustments to be made post-Trade Deadline -- personal cleats are a start. But once again, business in Philadelphia resumed as normal in a 6-5, 10-inning victory against the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. It was the club's first series sweep since taking four straight against the Marlins on June 14-16.

Sunday, before the club was set to fly to Colorado to start a three-city, 10-game road trip, was the culmination of a thrilling, yet exhausting, 10-game homestand that saw the Phils lose two of three to the defending champion Giants, who acquired Carlos Beltran mid-series, and pick up Pence, creating a whirlwind of media attention just in the past four days.

"I guess maybe there was a feeling in here," said Raul Ibanez, whose second of two home runs tied the score in the eighth inning and whose walk-off double in the 10th scored Pence. "I'm so locked into my routine most of the time, I don't really notice what's going on, but I'm sure that there was a lot going on."

It's been thoroughly covered that the right-handed Pence brings balance to a lineup stacked with left-handed bats. On Sunday, you could see how he throws a wrench into late-game management. Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle opted to bring on right-hander Jose Veras to face Pence in the eighth after left-hander Joe Beimel started the inning against lefties Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Veras remained in the game to face the lefty Ibanez, who homered.

"It was his day," Veras said. "I don't know how the ball went out. It was supposed to be a fly ball, but we're playing here in Philly. Nothing you can do with it."

"I hope that it's a dynamic that helps," Pence said about splitting up the left-handed bats. "Raul's still got to hit the homer. Absolutely unbelievable day by him. You can look around and any number of these guys can carry you per day, and that's the beauty of it."

Pittsburgh couldn't hold a 5-3 lead with four outs to go. It took the lead twice, the second time on a Lyle Overbay two-run homer off Phillies starter Vance Worley in the sixth to give them a 4-3 lead.

Worley hadn't allowed more than two earned runs in his past seven starts. He had gone 5-0 with a Major League-best 1.14 ERA in that span. The four runs he allowed Sunday were the most he's given up since the May 29 start at New York, where he allowed eight runs and was returned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to get back into a starter's routine.

The Bucs took their first lead with two runs in the fifth on an RBI single by Xavier Paul. Jimmy Rollins answered with a two-run single in the bottom half of frame.

Rollins has pulled Pence aside to explain he doesn't have press to produce from the get-go. Utley picked him up Sunday morning, drove him around the city and bought him coffee. Pence has been living out of that duffel bag since he hopped on a plane in Milwaukee and arrived in Philadelphia in time for Saturday night's game. What little laundry he had was done before leaving for Colorado.

What more can Pence do to adjust to being on a winning team?

"Maybe go shopping," he said.

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