Whether or not Philadelphia's recent flare for the dramatic is some sort of initiation rite to test the blood pressure of interim manager Ryne Sandberg, the Phillies will be happy to live on the edge for the sake of building up momentum heading into the final month of the season.
The Phillies are 5-3 since Sandberg replaced Charlie Manuel at the beginning of their 10-game homestand, including four walk-off wins and a too-close-for-comfort 5-4 victory on Monday in which they nearly spoiled the five-run lead enjoyed in the early going by rookie right-hander Ethan Martin.
"I think we've got 30 games left, and we're trying to make a statement coming into next year," said outfielder Domonic Brown after his walk-off RBI single on Thursday. "We're having a lot of fun and we're making sure that we prepare the right way, and going out and working hard."
Martin returns to the mound looking for his third career victory as the Phillies aim to play spoiler to the D-backs' fleeting postseason hopes on Saturday night at Citizen Bank Park.
The D-backs have hit the skids at the wrong time, dropping three of four in Cincinnati earlier this week on the way to falling eight games behind the Reds for the final National League Wild Card spot. The first of those three losses came at the expense of right-hander Randall Delgado, who will attempt to rebound from his first loss since the All-Star break on Saturday night.
"I felt good with the strike zone and everything, but I should mix a little bit more," Delgado said after giving up five runs over six innings in his last start. "I was so over the plate that every time they swung, they thought something was going to happen. I think I need to mix a little more and that's it."
Chase Utley drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Phillies a 4-3 walk-off win in Friday night's series opener, confirming that no NL West team is safe from Philadelphia's recent theatrics. The D-backs joined the Dodgers and Rockies as walk-off victims during the homestand, which the Phillies offense began with 21 scoreless innings.
Phillies: Pettibone shut down for season
Shoulder issues have cut Jonathan Pettibone's rookie season short, as the Phillies announced on Friday that the 22-year-old right-hander would not pitch again in 2013 due to inflammation in his rotator cuff.
The Phillies won six of Pettibone's first seven starts this season, and he allowed no more than three earned runs in any of those outings. Pettibone's effectiveness dipped from then on to the tune of a 4.63 ERA over his final 11 starts, the last of which came on July 28 in a 12-4 loss to the Tigers.
"He pitched some quality games," Sandberg said. "He gave the team a chance to win. I had him in Lehigh Valley and it was the same stuff. I think it was a good experience for him. I think he showed he can do it. He just had a real good look about him out there."
D-backs: Prado stays hot
Martin Prado's two-run double in Friday's fourth inning extended a two-month hot streak that is quickly making the 29-year-old utility man's sluggish first three months in Arizona more and more of a distant memory.
Since July 1, Prado has posted a .930 OPS with six home runs and 36 RBIs, and he has raised his batting average by 35 points. Entering Friday night's action, his .373 batting average in August ranked eighth in baseball among hitters with at least 75 plate appearances.
• After spending the first seven seasons of his professional career in the lower levels of the Phillies organization, D-backs catcher Tuffy Gosewisch went 1-for-3 on Friday night in his first career game in Philadelphia. Gosewich has hit safely in each of his first five Major League starts.
• Darin Ruf's solo home run in the second inning on Friday tied the right fielder for the Major League lead with eight home runs in August. Alfonso Soriano, Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera, Donnie Murphy and Justin Upton also have eight.
• D-backs catcher Miguel Montero is expected back from a lower back strain when the team returns to Arizona next week.
Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.